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Ever wonder what it would be like to walk around Japan’s iconic cities as a cat? Thanks to a Hiroshima-based marketing firm, now you can strut around the town of Onomichi using an online cat-view map.

Kitty POV Overload

A lot of work (and cat treats) went into the massive project by the local tourism division. The team deployed 360 cameras and filmed around the clock, capturing nearby streets, relaxing cafes and malls. Similarly, the technology resembles the recording methods used for Google Maps. For now the site only covers Onomichi, a port city 70 km east of Hiroshima prefecture.

“We were seeking to introduce a different way to look at our cities and offer a view of the streets that wasn’t available before,” highlighted a Hiroshima tourism official.

To get the most out the platform, it’s worth pulling up the map on a desktop instead of a mobile device. Also, don’t forget to crank your speakers up (there’s an option to mute the audio from the panel, but it would be best to leave it on).


Local Cat Sites

The online platform was designed to boost awareness for the region. Onomichi is home to over 150,000 cats, making it the purr-fect place to start the promotion. There are numerous cat sites sprinkled around the area, such as a museum of “maneki-neko” dolls, peaceful temples of worship and shopping districts filled with curious felines.

The group confirmed that more locations are on the way, suggesting that the project could possibly include other bustling cities, namely Tokyo, Otsu, Kobe and Kyoto. For the Onomichi map, developers plan to add the Misode Shrine area. If all goes according to schedule, the update will be released in October.

The interactive site is in Japanese, so if you’re serious about fully immersing yourself in the platform, you may need help from a friend who knows the language well. A mini-map found in the lower left corner of the screen includes small tags for popular destinations. If you aren’t familiar with the region, the pop-up guide is a great way to jump into the exploratory experience.

The developers also replaced mouse-clicks with soft purrs- very clever. There are 11 kitties you can click on for company and light conversations during your journey. Some of them have special profiles to help you understand what the local cats are like in the port town.


Feline-friendly Perspectives

Filmed at roughly nine inches from the ground, the online map will instantly make you feel like everything is unusually out of reach. Walking up and down a few streets, you’ll be greeted with people’s shoes instead of their faces. Bike wheels come at you like scary bulldozers and doors look like immovable towers.

“Hopefully this will become the first in a series, with additional features including a guide to the nicest potted plants in town for fancy pooping time; the warehouses of upscale boutiques with the best cardboard boxes; and residences of celebrity cats with the most intriguing-smelling butts,” highlighted Catherine Shu from TechCrunch.

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