Last month, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government set up a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site at a public facility in Shibuya Ward specifically to handle people between the ages of 16 and 39 who otherwise might have problems getting vaccination reservations through conventional means.

The site was prepared to administer 200 doses a day, but on Aug. 27, the first day, about 300 people were already waiting in line well before the venue opened, forcing staff to give out reservation tickets and turn away anyone who came later.

The next day, an even larger crowd showed up and only 1 out of 6 left vaccinated. The site adopted a lottery system that web magazine Litera at the time called “prehistoric,” since it required candidates to be physically present to get a number. This led to curious images of people waiting in line and staring at their phones to see if their number was picked. Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike exacerbated the absurdity factor by complaining that people lining up for vaccinations were breaching social distancing protocols.