Well, that’s one way to social distance in Tokyo.

Now that the Japanese government has declared a state of emergency for the entire nation, in an attempt to put the brakes on the worryingly steep rise in coronavirus cases, people have been keeping an eye on Tokyo to see if residents there are heeding the government’s advice to stay indoors.

In order to see what’s happening in the capital while social distancing at home, people have been tuning in to the webcams around Shibuya Scramble Crossing. Known as the busiest intersection in the world, the crossing acts as a gauge for public movement in downtown Tokyo, and lately it’s been displaying a remarkable decrease in foot traffic…and a few odd characters looking for a taste of webcam fame.

On the weekend, eagle-eyed webcam watcher and Twitter user @kamimura52 spotted one such character making his way across the road, and rather than being dressed in flamboyant gear to catch the attention of viewers on the livestream, this man was doing it with an inflatable ball.

▼ To confirm this wasn’t an apparition, other Twitter users jumped online to say they saw it too.

Spotted at 3:37 p.m. on Sunday, the man could be seen rolling across the street towards the Hachiko statue area outside Shibuya Station. The screenshots captured by @kamimura52 show that two minutes after he got to the other side, the ball had deflated and the man inside it was being questioned by two police officers.

▼ The red square in the third photo shows police were quick to arrive on the scene

While the fate of bubble boy remains unknown, people online were quick to make their voices heard over the incident.

“Some people really don’t care about the coronavirus and the current state of emergency.”
“Some people obviously have too much time on their hands.”
“There’s a police box right there – what did he think would happen?”

“This is no time to be mucking around and taking up valuable police time.”
“He probably walked away with just a slap on the wrist.”

“I bet he’s a YouTuber.”

YouTubers have used the scramble crossing as the setting for a number of prank videos in the past, like this guy who slept on a bed in the middle of the road when the pedestrian lights turned green. Police have been cracking down on these types of shenanigans, however, with videos being pulled and apologies being issued to avoid serious charges.

So if anyone out there is thinking about using extreme measures like this to stand out at the Shibuya scramble crossing, they might want to think again. The best way to make a statement right now is to keep a distance of one tatami mat apart from others and avoid busy spaces like Shibuya’s rat paradise altogether.

Because all the really cool kids are at home washing their hands like Arashi and dancing indoors with Gen Hoshino.

Source: Twitter/@kamimura52 via Jin
 image: Twitter/@Dullahan
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