This month the Google Street View crew teamed up with Akita Prefecture in northern Japan to launch the dog’s eye perspective on Odate City, one of Akita’s major cities and home to the adorable Akita Inu, probably better known today as the cousin to Shiba Inu, aka ‘dog’.
As everyone knows, Google Street View is an incredibly useful (and maybe sometimes creepy) tech marvel that virtually places you on almost any street in the world, but off-road options have been a little limited, that is until now in Odate City. Here the virtual map takes you out of the car and onto the backs of the local tour guides, so you can travel off the well-trodden tourist roads and see what Odate City really has to offer.
On its blog, Google explain that by working with some of the city’s local dogs, they’ve been able to produce a more comprehensive view of the city, from a puppy’s perspective. By strapping small Google cameras onto the backs of Asuka, Ako and Puko, three of the city’s Akita dogs as they power through the city’s snowy surrounds, the team managed to capture a full 360-degree view of the area. Watch the making of video to see how they pulled it off.
With the cameras fired up on their backs, the three adorable locals took viewers to some of the city’s major tourist destinations. Adorable fluffy ears and puffy tails framed every shot. We guarantee this tour of Odate City is the most heartwarming virtual tour you’ll see all month.
Of course the dogs visited canine-related tourist attractions, including the Akita Inu Museum; old dog shrine; a statue of Hachiko, the city’s most famous dog (who also has a statue in Shibuya); as well as other popular attractions of note.
Although the city looks almost uninhabitable in this footage with its mountainous piles of fluffy white snow, in reality it’s an incredibly culturally and scenically diverse pocket of Japan, flanked by ski slopes and meandering coastlines with a vibrant metropolitan heart. If you’re looking for a new place to explore in Japan, and you haven’t been here, it’s worth adding to the bucket list.
This Google project was born as a way to encourage tourism and show people out there everything Odate City and the wider Akita area has to offer. Last year we saw sheep work with Google to bring attention to the Faroe Islands, an archipelago between the Norwegian Sea and the North Atlantic, located midway between Iceland, Norway and UK. So here’s to hoping this is the beginning of more ridiculously adorable mapping routines in the future.