Justin Bieber And Sofia Richie 'Not Dating' Just 'Friends': Hand-Holding, Sightseeing In Japan

Justin Bieber and Sofia Richie continue to hang out together. E! News has reported a source confirmed "They are not dating" before adding "They are just friends." Of course, that hasn't stopped the rumor mill from speculation overdrive.

This is to be expected. However, everyone needs to dial back the romance talk. Lionel Ritchie's youngest daughter is 17 and turns 18 on August 24.

Justin and Sofia have been pals for years. And, like most young Hollywood celebs, they have mutual friends. These include sisters Kylie and Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, and more.

Last Friday, Justin and Sofia were spotted enjoying the scenery -- and a sleeping seal -- in Laguna Beach. The 22-year-old Grammy winner was seen holding hands with the pretty model, although it looked like he was helping the teen keep her balance as they walked along the beach.

As per Mail Online, Richie was spotted leaving the singer's Toluca Lake house on Tuesday morning wearing a crop black sports top and jogging pants/pajamas. The latter may or may not belong to the Biebs.

The following day, the pair went hiking together. Hours later, they jetted out of Los Angeles to Japan, where Justin has two back-to-back shows slated this weekend when his "Purpose World Tour" resumes.

People magazine reports the duo have spent five straight days together so far. Make that six, including Japan.

Apart from paparazzi pics, until two days ago there were no snaps of Justin and Sofia posted on their respective social media accounts.

Then, on Thursday afternoon, Richie Instagrammed a selfie taken on the private jet showing her wearing Purpose Tour merch. Her caption reads, "No pictures," a reference to the Biebs' understandable no-photos policy. The snap was taken by the singer, who is seen in a window reflection.

Later that same day, the pictorial floodgates opened when a slew of fan-obtained images of the pals sightseeing in Japan surfaced on Justin Bieber fan accounts on Twitter.

In some of the shots Justin and Sofia are seen holding hands as they took in a street market, went two-way bike-riding, checked out an oyster stand, and saw local architecture. Take a look at the selection below.

Video footage of the duo strolling around in Japan also emerged.Sofia also posted Snapchat videos of herself and Justin sharing a bike, which the singer enthusiastically steered.

All in all, the famous pair are evidently having affectionate fun in each other's company, as "friends." Whether or not that official relationship status changes later this month remains to be seen.

[Images via Kevin Mazur/Getty Images, Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images]