Abiko City, Chiba (Greater Tokyo area)
Located some 30 km from the capital city (40 min. away from one of the biggest terminal stations in central Tokyo), Abiko city is a bedroom suburb which has been growing rapidly since the 1970s. Recently, the city has experienced a boom in massive apartment complex construction under the redevelopment initiative called "Project Mother".
Abiko is also known for the unique policies of the city government. "Community activity internships for citizens in their 50s and 60s", a support program for retired citizens; as well as the "public service proposal system", a system to realize new services by matching needs, both have national reputations.
Historically, the city first flourished in the Edo era (1600-1876) through water transport in the Tone River. Products from Northern Japan as well as highly valued soy from the surrounding areas were shipped via the second longest river in the country. Although shipping was eventually taken over by trains, the river still offers a magnificent view and provides great opportunities for anglers.
Find out more about the Abiko City Local Organizing Committee in Japanese at http://sumiyoi.com/