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  • So tonight we're going to try houtou

  • It's our first time here in Yamanashi Prefecture trying this

  • Obviously we've been to Yamanashi ken a lot of times, but

  • I guess they have like bear meat and horse meat and duck

  • And pumpkin.

  • I'm looking forward to the pumpkin, I'm not sure about the other ones

  • But we'll try it outhere we go!

  • [Life in Japan Theme Song]

  • This is like a kotatsu but no blanket

  • It's like a Kotatsu but no blanket?

  • We are immediately immersed in the atmosphere of Houtou, Yamanashi's noodle soup.

  • But the expectations really ramp up once we look at the menu.

  • OK, so here is the pumpkin one.

  • That's one of their popular ones.

  • This is pork.

  • This is bear, we're definitely getting one of those.

  • Oh bear!

  • This is duck, I believe. We're going to get duck.

  • What did you find there Ben? What are you going to order?

  • I'm going to order some horse.

  • Horse?!

  • I've never even eaten horse, I don't know what this is. You got horse and bear

  • And look at thislocust. Locust!

  • Oh my goodness.

  • Daddy, is the horse and bear like the real animal?

  • Yes! Yes, to eat.

  • Yes, many of these options are strange for Westerners like us, but we're feeling adventurous tonight.

  • That's horse meat! OK, the horse meat has come.

  • Look at that. Oh man.

  • Ben, are you going to be the first to try it? Yea, you guys gotta get in on this too.

  • We're going to try too. Oh, I don't know if I care to try.

  • I'll watch.

  • Thank you Jesus for this food! That's right...

  • Bless it to our use!

  • Izzy, digging in.

  • Izzy's going to have the horse meat.

  • Does it taste like chicken? Is it yummy?

  • This is my first timeand maybe my last.

  • Is it yummy Izzy? Is it yummy?!

  • What do you think? Is it chewy?

  • Does it taste horsey?

  • Very, very soft.

  • Soft?!

  • Strange.

  • Let me video you. Alright.

  • OK, here we go. Look, it's nice and hot, isn't it?

  • Should I get some of these onions with it?

  • Oo yeah.

  • I want to try!

  • Honey, don't get too big of a piece, because...

  • You might not like it.

  • Can I try it?!

  • Can I try it? I want to try it!

  • It's not bad.

  • It's not bad, yea.

  • It's likeit reminds me of liver.

  • If you've had liver, kind of like that.

  • OK, Becca's trying the horse.

  • Oh, I took two. Oh my goodness!

  • Alright Becca.

  • No really, how do you feel?

  • See it's not bad, it's just different, isn't it?

  • It's different.

  • I'm eating a horse right now.

  • You're eating a horse, oh my goodness!

  • But that was just the appetizer. Our Houtou was arriving in all kinds of flavors and varieties.

  • Ooh! That's the bear?

  • Wow, thank you!

  • We have horse over here, we have bear right here.

  • Let's try it?

  • Which one is this, Ruth?

  • This is the pumpkin one.

  • Pumpkin. Daddy, we ate this at school before.

  • You ate this at school? I don't think so.

  • Oh man, Izzy, you like that? Is that good? Uh huh.

  • Izzy's all about the horse.

  • Joshua really wants to try the horse, huh?

  • OK, ready?

  • Joshua, trying some horse.

  • Yea, it's weird texture.

  • Ready? What do you think?

  • Izzy likes it. What? Really?

  • You like it?

  • Really? You're not just being nice?

  • You like it so much you want to eat another one?

  • Wow! Kids like the horse!

  • Wow! Who knew?

  • Wow!

  • Ruth ordered the pumpkin

  • Look at thatthere's vegetables and fried dumplings?! Oh, there's carrots

  • Carrots

  • Ok, let's see the momma chan give it a try.

  • Is it good?

  • It's good!

  • Mmm, delicious!

  • Oh Becca, what are you eating? Pork.

  • Oh, it's pork huh? Is it good? [snorts]

  • Oh good! Mine is good.

  • Oh, yummy?

  • Oh, these veggies are amazing. Alright.

  • What about Aunt Debbie? What did you get?

  • It was too hot, I haven't been able to try it yet. Oh.

  • So hot.

  • But I got the pork and the pumpkin.

  • Look at these noodles. They're so thick!

  • Oh my goodness, let me just try the noodle real quick.

  • It's too good, Daddy. So good.

  • It's just so good.

  • The noodle is good.

  • Dude! Come sit here and eat your food.

  • Here we go. This is my first time ever trying bear.

  • And like Ben said, maybe my last time ever

  • What is that? Bear.

  • Um hum.

  • Does it taste gamey? Is it good?

  • It's decent. Really?

  • I'm surprised.

  • Oh my goodness!

  • Now he's going to hibernate.

  • So, I'm going to try to describe this...

  • Because it's kind of like beef, but it's a little more gamey,

  • It's a bit chewy. It's a very unique flavor.

  • Alright They're looking for it.

  • Uncle Ben.. OK, I'm trying the bear.

  • The Bear. First time ever

  • Whoa!

  • Is it what I described? Yea, it's chewy...

  • It's good meat though

  • Better than horse.

  • But a very unique flavor.

  • Very unique.

  • Does it taste like berries? Not really? No

  • Like honey?

  • You're eating Winnie the Pooh.

  • Aww!

  • How could you?

  • Sarah, is it Berenstain Bear?

  • [Everyone gasps]

  • This whole atmosphere that we're in is so unique and fun... It is

  • And we're all just sitting on the floor, sipping our hot soup, having a grand ol' time.

  • This is awesome.

  • OK, Ruth's been convinced, she's trying it.

  • Uhh.

  • Ruth will not be having bear again.

  • Sarah chan, what is your favorite part?

  • The noodles

  • OK Becca. Becca is very curious. She wants to see, what does bear meat taste like?

  • This is the hardest meat in the whole entire world.

  • Pretty tough, huh?

  • It's a tough meat. It is a tough meat.

  • I think I'm going to take 5 minutes just eating this.

  • You got it, Becca.

  • Well, it looks like I better finish up because the crew is on the way out.

  • Bye bye. Oh the move.

  • On the move. That was fun.

  • That was fun. Oh, I'm full.

  • So that was a really great experience, very good.

  • We'll definitely be trying this again,

  • Maybe with a normal flavor like pork or something like that

  • But very good.

  • Look, everybody takes off their shoes when they come in

  • And now everyone is getting their shoes back on,

  • Getting ready to head on back out

  • What a fun experience that was.

  • Well, what do you all think? Is that something you'd like to try sometime?

  • Being willing to try new things is part of adapting to life in a different culture.

  • Our favorite things, old and new, combine together to make our family culture more rich and diverse.

  • Perhaps we'll add Houtou into our holiday traditions at Lake Yamanakako.

  • Each year we like to come up here, combining our Western holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas while enjoying the beautiful area around Mt Fuji.

  • How cool is that?

  • We're creating new unique family traditions along the way

  • Like a bike ride around the lake to work off all that hearty food we're eating.

  • Alright Anna, what's going on?

  • We're going to bike around the lake.

  • We're going to bike around the lake.

  • Well Ruth, what do you think there?