I live in a small village in Chiba. Our village has no city water, city gas or city sewage. In other words, we have a well for water, have a big propane tank for our gas and have a septic tank that gets emptied twice a year or so. Our town has agricultural roots, but mostly these days it is a sort of sleepy town where about half of the people work for the local government in one way or another. I think we were the first "new family" to move in in decades.
About 10 minutes away by car there is an area of Chiba called "Chiba New Town". The train I take to work stops there after my stop at a station called "Chiba New Town Chuo". Chuo basically means "center". Recently, the trains and stations and other media have been plastered with a huge branding campaign which involves the invention of a new word called 中央ism or Chuoism. I'm not sure exactly what's so "ism" about living in Chuo, but they boast that it is "close" (1 hr) to Tokyo and only one train to Haneda airport (will take you longer than an hour) and by 2010 will have a direct train to Narita airport.
There are huge condos and big malls and shopping centers. I'm not sure how successful this campaign is, but it's really odd to me. People are moving 1 hour away to buy condos in high rises in the middle of a rather beautiful rural area. This "Chuoism" seems like some sort of knockoff of American suburbia with all of the favorite fast food and shop chains in convenient malls. I've eaten there a few times and none of the restaurants are as good as the wonderful small restaurants scattered around the villages nearby.
For the convenience of having city water (probably not as tasty as my well water) and city sewage, you pay approximately 40 times the price per square meter of condo floor space as I did for land at my current house. It is a pretty high premium considering you're sharing the land with everyone you're stacked with and the bulk of the value is the condo which depreciates in value over time.
I guess that they probably had to invent a whole new "ism" to justify the rather illogical behavior (to me) that this sort of satellite suburbia represents. Thanks but no thanks.
Obligatory disclaimer : I visit but don't live there so I don't know all of the perks. I am just not convinced by what I have seen or by the advertising. I apologize if you live in one of these condos and are enjoying your life. Maybe you can chime in and let me know what the appeal is and why it deserves a whole new "ism".