Aware of many people’s penchant for pussycats, Hiroshima’s tourist office last year happened upon the genius idea of launching a “Cat Street View” service, showing the local town of Onimichi from the low-down perspective of one of its furry inhabitants.
Presumably the online tool was a hit, as it’s just posted similar Street View-style content for a second location in the neighboring town of Takehara, Rocket News reported.
Just like the original Cat Street View, the latest imagery invites you to explore the picturesque neighborhood – known as “Little Kyoto” for its resemblance to the preserved parts of Japan’s ancient capital – from the perspective of local kitty Souseki.
Using the “paw” cursor to make your way around, you’re encouraged to track down 27 other local cats, with a special counter keeping tabs on how many you manage to find.
If you hear a faint “miaow” sound, you’ll know one’s close by. Drag the immersive imagery around to locate it, then click on the various icons to find out more about your new buddy, or view a short YouTube video showing it going about its day in Little Kyoto (much time is spent lazing around under cars, evidently).
A map at the bottom left of the display shows the streets that’ve been mapped, and also offers clues as to where you’ll find all the other cats hanging out.
And no, you won’t be prowling only the streets. Follow the helpful on-screen markers and you’ll be taken to parts of the district more familiar to its feline residents than its human ones: the roofs.
It’s not clear if Hiroshima tourist office’s innovative Cat Street Vew efforts have helped to increase foot traffic (human foot traffic, that is) in the tourist locations or merely given cat fans a few minutes of online fun, but either way, it’s an innovative effort at putting the Japanese towns on the map.
To begin your Cat Street View adventure, click here.