The northwest part of Chiba area including cities of Abiko, Kashiwa, Nagareyama, Noda and Matsudo are so called TOKATSU area. There are morethan 1.3 million people living within this 358 sq km along JR Joban line. Commerce and manufacturers are the main industries here, and it is famous for commuters’ town to Tokyo that approximately 240,000 people commute for work or study every day. Especially, many of baby boomers and their juniors who always support fashion trends are inhabited in the area along the national highway 16.
In recent years, some sports teams have settled in TOKATSU area such as Kashiwa Reysol (J league soccer football team), NEC Rugby football club in Abiko, and JOMO Sunflowers (female basket ball team) in Kashiwa. These sports teams advertise the name of TOKATSU area to some extent.
Around LakeTeganuma, many species of wild birds inhabit. Subsequently Yamashina Institute of Ornithology, where princess Noriko is working for, is located in this area. Moreover, it is well-known that many of litterateurs, who were categorized as Shirakaba-ha, gathered in this Tokatsu area in Meji period (1869-1912).
Many people from Ibaraki and Saitama are coming to the TOKATSU area for shopping using Joban line, Tobu Noda line, the national highway 6 and 16. Especially people come for shopping in some department stores such as Kashiwa Takashimaya, Kashiwa SOGO and Marui Kashiwa around JR Kashiwa station. It can be estimated that number of people who are in Kashiwa retail trading market would be 2.3 million. Young ladies fashion retails come from central and there are more than 100 used clothes shops. Because of this, it is called "East Shibuya".
Street musicians perform around Kashiwa station and it accommodates budding musical talents from all over Kanto area to show their talents on the street of Kashiwa.
Within TOKATSU area, there are 12 academic institutes such as Kashiwa campus of TokyoUniversity, Tokyo University of Science in Noda, and ChuoGakuinUniversity in Abiko. Thus, approximately 32,000 students are currently studying in this area.
7 movie theaters are located TOKATSU area having 20 screens, 2990 seats. Numbers of screen and seats in this area account for 14% and 12% of total numbers of them in Chiba. It is planned that the Cinema Complex is going to be built and opened in Kashiwa in near future.
Last year, Tsukuba express (TX) was opened up, and running between Akihabara (Tokyo) and Tsukuba (Ibaraki). TX is also called “IT (Information Technology) express” as it goes threw Akihabara, Kashiwa Campus of Tokyo University, and Tsukuba academic town. Thanks to TX, transit with Tobu Noda line and JR Musashino line has become easy, therefore we hope more people come to this area for shopping and several entertainment events.