The visitors came from 3-1 down to equalise in the 88th minute through Wataru Hashimoto and then scored twice more in injury time to win the game 5-3.
There was little hint of the mayhem to come in a first half which ended 1-1 after Kashiwa's Leandro Dominguez and Shimizu's Genki Omae traded penalties in a five-minute spell.
Naohiro Takahara and Alex Brosque put the home side into what seemed a commanding lead shortly after the hour mark, but Masato Kudo cut the deficit before Hashimoto's equaliser.
And the demoralised hosts then crumbled, allowing Kudo and Koki Mizuno to secure a victory which leaves Kashiwa six points behind the leaders.
Sanfrecce Hiroshima moved to the top of the table on goals scored after a 3-0 win over Kawasaki Frontale with all the goals coming in the first 20 minutes.
Kohei Shimizu opened the scoring in the second minute before Hisato Sato's quickfire double made the game safe.
Previous leaders Vegalta Sendai were held to a goalless draw away to Nagoya Grampus Eight.
Fourth-placed Jubilo Iwata kept up the pace with a 4-1 win over hapless Consadole Sapporo, kick-started by two goals in five first-half minutes from Cho Byung-kuk.
Ryoichi Maeda and Rodrigo Souto scored early in the second half, either side of Takuma Hidaka's consolation goal for the basement club.
Sagan Tosu enjoyed a 1-0 win over FC Tokyo thanks to Tozin's 87th-minute goal and there was a dramatic finish in Osaka, where Manabu Saito scored an injury-time winner for Yokohama F Marinos, three minutes after Gamba's Paulinho had equalised Seitaro Tomisawa's first-half goal.
Elsewhere, Mitsuo Ogasawara earned Kashima Antlers a 1-0 win away to Cerezo Osaka, Omiya Arija and Vissel Kobe drew 2-2 and it was goalless between Albirex Niigata and Urawa Red Diamonds.