Troops are in Japan for this year's Yama Sakura 57 exercise.
The Japanese treated their U.S. counterparts to a series of events to share aspects of their culture.
Producer Sergeant 1st Class Jeffrey Hilton takes us along on a home visit.
[shouting in Japanese] Pull up. Pull up.
We're preparing to go meet with a Japanese family and enjoy some of the culture and lifestyles of the Japanese.
So my expectations are that we're going to actually have the opportunity to meet, sit down, perhaps eat dinner with, and exchange gifts with a Japanese family and learn a little bit about their culture and lifestyle.
I got to take part in a Japanese family home visit.
It was a really neat experience.
We went to a family in Chitose.
They had prepared a big meal for us.
It was absolutely incredible.
It was a farm owner and his wife.
We went out to their garage, and there was a barbecue pit in the middle of the garage.
We cooked all the food on there and ate.
When we went to the Japanese family's home, we were escorted by an interpreter.
It was a great experience having him there because it helped with that language barrier.
The U.S. military enjoyed pounding the steamed rice cake.
It looked very fun.
[Knight] One of the neater things that we got to do was take steamed rice and put it in this big bowl and then start pounding on it with a hammer to turn it into kind of a gooey paste.
The wife of the guy came back with soup, and that pounded rice was now in the soup, and it was delicious.
It was kind of a marshmallowy texture.
Both our military and the U.S. military made a good connection.
I hope the U.S. and Japan make good connections in the future.