After beating South Africa in stunning circumstances on Saturday, it was always going to be difficult for Japan to follow that performance up.
So it proved at Kingsholm, where a Japanese side with just four days rest, fell away in the second-half to give Scotland their opening Rugby World Cup victory.
Mark Bennett was brilliant for Scotland, but it was Japanese number eight Amanaki Mafi who stole the show with a number of rampaging runs before he had to leave the field through injury.
Laidlaw's boot keeps Scots ticking early on
Despite Scotland leading 12-7 at the break, it was their opponents who were playing all the meaningful rugby.
They scored the only try of the opening half through the outstanding Mafi, who was on the back of a perfectly mastered driving maul.
At the other end, Scotland's skipper Greig Laidlaw was all but faultless with the boot, landing four penalties to give his side an important half-time lead.
Just as first-half time expired, Japan's full-back Ayumu Goromaru made the tackle of the tournament, to deny Tommy Seymour who looked to be all but over in the corner.
Japan tire as Scotland romp home
The second half started in the worst possible way for Eddie Jones men, with the best player on the field in Mafi, forced to leave the field on a stretcher with what looked like a hamstring injury.
His loss proved to be vital, as Scotland proved to be too strong for a Japanese side who were clearly fatigued after their short turnaround between matches.
Jon Hardie, Finn Russell and Seymour each scored for the Scots, adding to a brace from Mark Bennett who hit some beautiful lines throughout the game.
Scotland didn't suffer any injuries to the naked eye, and got their bonus point making it a perfect day for Vern Cotter's men.
The game though will open up World Rugby to some criticism, with a Tier 1 side again given the advantage of playing the tournament 'minnows' off a short-break.