The word nanamagari refers to a narrow alley with many (or seven, literally speaking) corners in Japanese, not an uncommon place name. In the suburban city of Ōme, which advertises itself as a retro town of cats, there is an alley dubbed the Nyanya Magari, a street of “meow-meow corners.”
Though close to JR Ōme Station, the alley is all but hidden in a corner in a residential neighborhood and hard to spot at a glance. But once visitors enter, it’s a unique gem of an open-air art gallery, decorated with homemade cats—some made from wood veneer and galvanized wire, as well as ceramic lucky cats and whatnot.
The area has been undergoing redevelopment over the years, but the alley remains largely stuck in the nostalgia of the bygone Shōwa era, with wooden houses and stone fences and walls of rusty corrugated metal. It may only take a minute or two to pass through, but the trip down Ōme’s cat-filled memory lane is a pleasant way to start exploring this charming town.