Last September, the town of Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture became a headline-grabbing topic around the world with its Cat Street View project. In its first two weeks online, this Google-style map of the town, filmed from a cat's perspective, went viral, racking up 1.7 million views. CNN, Huffington Post and Business Insider all ran the story.

Why a cat?

Well, Onomichi is nicknamed the "Town of Hills and Cats," and "cats are well-acquainted with its back alleys and other hidden charms," says Maiko Awane of the Hiroshima Prefecture Tourist Division.