I can understand if you're confused as to what kind of question this is. So I'll explain the best way I can. For many Japanese people, going to America for the first time would be a great experience they can tell their friends and family about it.
So the majority of them (or a good amount) of Japanese tourists would mainly go to Hawaii. When they get out of the plane and take their first steps in Hawaii, they would mostly say "Finally I made it to America."
So the question is when it comes to Hawaii, does it really count as being in American soil? My response is: Yes AND No.
Why does Hawaii count as American soil?
The reason as though Hawaii does count as being in American soil is obviously Hawaii is part of the 50 states of the United States.
While yeah, Hawaii is not really one of the most notable hot spots for non-Americans (and even some Americans) compared to places such as California, New York, and Florida, it's one of those underrated places to go to whenever you want to try something different from average.
The nice beaches, the peaceful scenery, and going to really great restaurants and fast-food places are just one of the big reasons to go to Hawaii. Plus, a lot of Japanese people come to visit and even stay in Hawaii. So, it makes the visiting people from Japan feels as though they haven't actually left home yet.
Why doesn't Hawaii count as being in America?
The reason as though Hawaii doesn't really count as being in American soil is one simple thing: since Hawaii isn't in the mainland, Japanese people are not actually in the mainland United States.
Think about it: Hawaii to the United States is more like Okinawa in Japan. You're in Japan, but you're not Japan.
It's more of:
- you're in the halfway point to America,
- the unofficial border between Western Hemisphere and Eastern Hemisphere,
- or the American version of Japan.
Even though Hawaii is an American state, it doesn't really show much about American culture and society. It mainly shows their own culture in a different way than most American states.
So that made the Japanese people feel the super limited version of America. It's not a bad thing, but there might be some Japanese people that want to see the full version of America. They want to go anywhere that is behind Hawaii, and experience things they can't do in Hawaii.
If you want to learn more about relationship between Japan and America, read my blog post about Japanese Culture and Louisiana.