It is hard to recall a White House trip that has afforded more access to local color than Vice-President Biden’s Asia tour, which concludes today in Japan.

In Beijing, he dined at a local canteen that specializes in pungent intestine soup. (He ordered noodles instead, igniting a small tourist rush on the joint, which, in the days since, has created a “Biden set meal” and has had to hire more staff.) He attended a basketball game one night before the arena became host to a bench-clearing, chair-swinging brawl between U.S. and Chinese players.

And arriving Monday in Mongolia—where he was the first U.S. Vice-President to visit since Henry Wallace in 1944—Biden received an official gift-horse, a handsome colt. Heeding metaphor, he immediately placed a blue ribbon around its neck and named the beast “Celtic,” after his Irish origins.