Internet users looking for a new perspective on Hiroshima can now get a cat’s-eye-view of one of the Japanese city’s popular shopping districts.
Hiroshima’s tourism board teamed up with technicians who worked on Google’s street-view maps to create Cat Street View, an interactive map that reveals how the world looks to a cat.
Using the same equipment that Google did — and a camera attached to a stick that hovered exactly 8 inches from the ground — the Cat Street View team captured the map’s images. They got their cat-perspective measurements with a little help from a green-eyed kitty named Lala who lives with a local salon owner.
"We decided to focus on cats because they know everything about the city, including the back streets," a tourism spokesman for western Hiroshima prefecture told AFP. “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.”
Cat Street View of a sidewalk cafe. (Photo: Cat Street View)
Cat Street View Map users can tour the shopping district of Onomichi, a Hiroshima port town known for its large cat population and its museum dedicated to Japan’s maneki-neko cat dolls. The town even has a street known as “cat land.”
Like other interactive maps, Cat Street View features symbols you can click for additional information about the shops and attractions — and even the local cats.
Click on one of the 11 cats you pass as you explore and you’ll be provided with details about the four-legged resident. You’ll even meet Lala.
Of course, for now the information is written entirely in Japanese.
Currently, the map covers only two streets in Onomichi, but Hiroshima plans to expand it next month to include other parts of the prefecture.