Prince William starts off Asia tour with a cup of tea

Prince William started off his trip to Tokyo with a familiar custom to the Brit: tea. The 32-year-old arrived in Tokyo on Thursday as part of a weeklong tour through Japan and China, a first for the royal.

Prince William enjoyed a traditional Japanese tea ceremony Photo: Getty Images

He started his visit with a rainy guided boat tour of Tokyo landmarks and stopped at the historic Hama Rikyu gardens where he took part in a traditional Japanese green tea ceremony by a Grand Master, which is considered a sign of respect. The Prince carefully sipped the drink from an antique Korean bowl and even joked, "I don't want to drop it."

The Duke of Cambridge will spend four days in Tokyo Photo: Getty Images

Also on the royal itinerary are visits to Beijing and Shanghai, where the second in line for the UK throne will be highlighting British links with Japan and China and addressing issues such innovation, trade and creativity.

It was said that William was excited for his trip to Asia and looking forward to seeing the sights Photo: Getty Images

And just moments after his arrival in Tokyo, the Palace announced that William passed the exams he needed to qualify as an air ambulance pilot and will be begin working in his new role this summer. William passed all 14 of his exams required to work as a civilian helicopter pilot, according to the Palace, and had been studying for his air transport pilot license exams since last September.

William has already completed numerous rescue missions Photo: Getty Images

The next few weeks will prove to be busy for the Duke of Cambridge. Upon his return from Asia and just weeks before the birth of his second child with wife Kate Middleton, he will undergo extra training with Bond Air Services before starting work for the East Anglian Air Ambulance service in the summer.

Kate Middleton and Prince William are expecting their second child in April Photo: Getty Images

Despite his royal duties, the Prince will aim to work as close to full time as possible, covering shifts for the team based in Cambridge and Norwich. His salary will be donated to charity.