Dec. 02, 2013— -- intro: Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Tokyo today to begin a week long visit to Asia where he will meet with the presidents and prime ministers of Japan, China and South Korea.
According to ABC's Matthew Larotonda, the trip comes amid high tensions in the region surrounding Bejing's recent announcement that it will require all aircraft traveling through the East China Sea to identify itself to Chinese authorities, report its flight plan, and yield to orders from that country or else face the possibility of "defensive emergency measures."
But Biden has become well known for straying outside the usual confines of his vice presidential duties. Just last month, he popped in on the grand opening of the Washington, DC location of his favorite sandwhich shop, Capriotti's. Many have found the vice president's tendency to drop in on everyday locations -- from a Dairy Queen to a Chinese restaurant to a pumpkin patch -- to be, well, Biden-esque.
Here are some of the veep's most memorable adventures:
quicklist: 1title: Biden Rolls Up to Capriotti'stext: While the Senate went nuclear last month, Vice President Joe Biden decided to blow off some steam by indulging a bit -- on his favorite sandwich.
The vice president rolled up in his motorcade on Thursday to grand opening of the Washington, DC location of his favorite sandwich shop--Capriotti's--which traces its origins back to Biden's home of Wilmington, Del.media: 20967724
quicklist: 2title: Joe Goes to Costcotext: In an effort to promote President Obama's proposed tax cuts for middle-class families and businesses, the vice president attended the opening of Costco's 448th store last November in Washington, D.C.
Biden took a full lap around the large discount store, stopping to choose desserts, sample watches, and take a phone call with an employee's loved one.
His final purchases included flowers, children's books, and a 32-inch Panasonic TV. media: 20983407
quicklist: 3title: It's The Great Pumpkin, Joe Bidentext: It was the great pumpkin or no pumpkin at all for the Bidens. The vice president and his wife Jill stopped at the Spring Ledge Farm Stand in New London, N.H., in September during a campaign stop in the swing state.
While there, the Bidens bought a 36.75-pound pumpkin to bring back with them to Washington. The vice president loaded the great pumpkin into the car himself, carrying it on his right shoulder.
According to ABC's Arlette Saenz, the pumpkin was "larger than his face."
quicklist: 4title: Just Call Him, 'Joe Bidenopoulos'text: A campaign stop at a Greek restaurant would not be complete without some rice pudding for the vice president.
When Biden visited the Mocha House, a Greek restaurant in Warren, Ohio, last August, he made sure to leave with some of the dish.
But not before introducing himself to some of the establishment's customers. "I'm Joe Bidenopoulos," Biden said to three men seated at one table.
The Bidens stopped to chat with the men and, referring to his Irish heritage, said, "Ask George who's the most Greek Irishman he's ever known."
quicklist: 5title: Biden Cozies Up With A Biker Chick text: During another campaign stop in Ohio last September, the vice president got particularly cozy with one voter, a "female biker."
Biden stopped in at the Cruisers Diner and met with some of the "Shadowmen," a bikers' group that apparently frequents the restaurant.
The Associated Press snapped a photo of the second-in-command sitting behind the female biker and talking to her closely as two other male bikers at the table looked on.media: 20983357
quicklist: 6title: Biden Screams for Ice Cream text: The ice cream was on Joe Biden for some Dairy Queen customers in Ohio last May. During a two-day campaign stop, the vice president stopped in at the Hollywood City Center Dairy Queen in Steubenville, Ohio, and bought some voters' desserts.
"We had heard Vice President Biden was coming to the city but never expected to see him walk into Dairy Queen," local resident Chris Murphy told reporters at the time.
After chatting with the Murphy's children for a bit, the vice president asked them a child's favorite question: "How about some ice cream?"
quicklist: 7title: Holy Joe text: As the nation's highest ranking Roman Catholic, Joe Biden led the presidential delegation to Rome last March, to attend the inauguration mass of Pope Francis.
After meeting, shaking hands, and having a short conversation with the new leader of the Catholic Church, Biden stepped shared a special moment with two nuns standing outside St. Peter's Basilica.
The Vice President recapped the moment he shared with the nuns in his second installment of the audio series 'Being Biden.' He said he was compelled to speak with the nuns because "to me epitomize everything Pope Francis talked about in his homily and what he stands for about generosity to other people, about reaching out, about making it a point to understand that we are our brother's keeper." media: 20983256
quicklist: 8title: Mr. Biden Goes To Jury Duty text: Being Joe Biden has its perks, but that doesn't mean the Vice President can skirt his civic duty.
In January 2011, Vice President Biden was summoned to jury duty in his hometown of Delaware, but lucky for him, he was dismissed quickly, along with the rest of the jury pool, and not required to serve on trial.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the vice president's office announced that Biden would "participate in the standard jury selection process" in the Superior Court of Delaware "in his capacity as a private citizen."
The Vice President echoed that statement when speaking with the Wilmington News Journal, "I don't consider myself different than any other person." Biden continued, "This is important. ... It is an honor to be a part of the system."
quicklist: 9title: Super (Soaker) Joetext: Joe Biden's annual media picnic meeting turned into an all out war, in June 2012, when the vice president handed out super soakers to the children gathered at the vice president's mansion.
Biden, sporting his famous shades, led his troops to target notable journalists, but his team of super soakers went rogue, and turned their high powered water guns on the vice president.
Before the fight was over, Biden was soaked and smiling, along with the rest of the children. media: 20985574
quicklist: 10title: Joe Biden Really Likes Trains. No Really. text: Before any of his other vice presidential jaunts, Biden embarked on the same adventure every day working as a United States senator: his daily Amtrak trip from Delaware to the Capitol.
After the tragic deaths of his first wife and one-year old daughter in 1980, just weeks before he was sworn in as a senator, Biden rode the rails to make it home to his two sons every night after work.
"It was the only way that I could have been a Senator at all," Biden said in a 2010 op-ed piece for The Huffington Post. "Amtrak doesn't just carry us from one place to another--it makes things possible that otherwise wouldn't be."
Earlier this year, the vice president said at a meeting that, due to the sequester, he would no longer fly home on Air Force 2 and would instead return to his preferred means of transportation: the rail.media: 18622665
quicklist: 11title: Biden Gone Wild (Over Wild Game)text: In Delaware, Biden attended the Whitehall Neck Sportsman Club annual dinner this March, and did his part in serving the meal by grabbing a pair of tongs and passing out roles to the attendees.
The White House released this photo as the first part of its 'Being Biden' series, where the vice president shares the story behind a photograph he appears in.
Biden used this first installment to talk about how important the right to bear arms responsibly is to himself and hunters.
quicklist: 12title: Biden Practices 'Noodle Diplomacy'text: Beijing restaurant Yaoji Chaogan enjoyed a boon to business in 2011 after the vice president stopped in for some steamed meat buns, noodles with soy bean paste, and smashed cucumber salad, according to the LA Times.
The week after Biden's visit, customers were waiting in line for up to an hour to order the "Biden set."
One regular customer said to the Global Times, "Usually there aren't so many people at this time, and you can get a table quickly. But customers began to gather all day long after Biden's visit."
Biden was lauded for his everyday gesture with the people--a kind of "noodle diplomacy" some said.
quicklist: 13title: 'O' And Joe Take in Some Hoopstext: In 2010, Biden accompanied President Obama to his first Georgetown Hoyas game, at DC's Verizon pavilion.
The duo, who sat court side, must have been good luck for the team because the Hoyas put on their best shooting performance in school history. Georgetown shot a smoldering 71.7% in a hyped up match against the Duke University Blue Devils.
With the support of the nation's leaders, Georgetown dominated Duke in a 89-77 game.media: 20983719
quicklist: 14title: Sumo Joe text:President Obama may be known for his love of playing basketball and playing pick up with his buddies at the White House, but Vice President Joe Biden took on a completely different sport during his trip to Mongolia in 2011: Sumo wrestling.
Biden took on a wrestler, twice his size, while on his 6 hour visit to Mongolia, which was part of his larger tour to Asia in 2011, which included other stops in China and Japan. media: 20985820
quicklist: 15title: Biden Guest Stars On "Parks and Recreation" text: Fans of Amy Poehler and the vice president alike were pleased when Biden made a cameo on the NBC series "Parks and Recreation."
Poehler's character in the show, Leslie Knope, had stated in past episodes her fascination and adoration of the second-in-command. "He has the brains of George Clooney in the body of Joe Biden," Leslie said when asked about her ideal man.
After meeting her idol and stammering through their conversation, Leslie tells Biden's Secret Service agents, "Don't let anything happen to him, you understand me? He is precious cargo."
The episode aired a week after Biden and President Obama won reelection last November.media: 20985735