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They Did What?: 

Cat Street View is a way to explore Japan paw-by-paw

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If you want to get a true sense of a city, we’re told it’s best to look at it from a bird’s eye view. But what if that bird was eaten by a cat? Then we suppose we’d have to make do with a feline perspective.

In Onomichi, a city in Japan’s Hiroshima Prefecture, the tourism board is forgoing the birds altogether, creating Cat Street View to give prospective visitors a unique way to explore the region. It’s like Google Street View, only 10-inches off the ground and all the landmarks have tails and whiskers.

The map consists of three typical Onomichi locations, where you can prowl around looking for mice, press your nose against the windows of local restaurants and bump into other neighborhood cats as you go. Like this guy, for instance:

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When you meet a cat, clicking the icon above its head will give you more images and information – at least it looks that way, we can’t read Japanese.

You can also jump up onto a rooftop at one point, and in the unlikely event that you forget this is a cat website – about cats – then each click of the mouse is met with a meow sound effect. Music to our ears.

“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,” a Hiroshima tourism official told the Wall Street Journal.

Needless to say, cats are sort of a big deal in Onomichi – a place that calls itself “a town of cats and slopes,” and even has a museum dedicated to Japan’s favorite animal. The tourist board said it may add more locations to the Cat Street View map in the future, and, given its popularity already, that now looks likely.

So, what are you waiting for? Get down on your hands and knees (figuratively speaking, of course) and begin exploring this curious feline-infested Japanese city.

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