Virtual visitors can navigate through a long covered arcade, clicking on signs that appear above shops, which have descriptive blurbs and hyperlinks to their websites. When other felines appear, they also have clickable icons that open up windows with information about them.
The website, only available in Japanese for now, is part of a tourism promotion push for Onomichi, which is famous for its many cats.
The site also features a local “cat trail” where pusses hang out and the Maneki-neko Art Museum, dedicated to the “beckoning cat” figurines often displayed in Japanese restaurants and shops for good luck.
“Onomichi used to be a prominent fishing port, which is probably why it attracted many cats,” a tourism official said.
Celebrated in everything from medieval “ukiyoe” woodblock prints to hit video games such as Neko Atsume, cat adoration is practically a national pastime in Japan.
A calico known as Tama-chan that was appointed stationmaster of a rural train station had thousands of fans and drew international headlines when she died earlier this year. At her funeral, it was announced that Tama-chan would be honored as a goddess.