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Hawaii’s diverse natural scenery, warm tropical climate, abundance of public beaches, oceanic surroundings, and active volcanoes make it a popular destination for tourists, surfers, biologists, and vulcanologist alike. Due to the past influences of the Japanese Empire and the country's mid-Pacific location, Hawaii has many Asian influences along with its own vibrant native culture. Its capital is Honolulu on the island of Oʻahu.
Hawaii encompasses nearly the entire volcanic Hawaiian Island chain, which comprises hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles (2,400 km). At the southeastern end of the archipelago, the eight "main islands" are (from the northwest to southeast) Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui and the island of Hawaiʻi. The last is the largest and is often called "The Big Island" to avoid confusion with the country as a whole. The archipelago is physio-graphically and ethnologically part of the Polynesian sub-region of Oceania.