Drinking alcohol with others is common, whether it be amongst friends, family, or colleagues.
There aren’t many rules to follow. Just remember to always pour for each other, and never pour for yourself. Keep an eye on others’ glasses to make sure their drinks are always topped up. And before you drink your first drop, make sure you raise your glass for a salute at the same time as the others, saying “kampai”. Normally, you should wait until others of higher status, such as your boss or an elder, drink their first drop. Then, you can drink yours.
Drinking too much is usual in bars and Japanese style pubs, called “izakaya”. Just try not to bother others while you are. However, in settings of a more formal nature, such as fancy restaurants serving kaiseki ryori, never get drunk!
Do not start drinking until everybody at the table is served and the glasses are raised for a drinking salute, which usually is “kampai”.