Despite the official cancellation, Radiohead event rumours continued to do the rounds throughout the remainder of the afternoon, so Time Out took a taxi into Hachiko Square to get the word on the street.
Arriving 20 minutes before the announced time (6.59pm), crowds were already beginning to swell around the Hachiko statue — not an unusual sight for a Friday night in Shibuya, though the increase in numbers was significant. Small groups of foreign fans were huddled together throughout the crowd, apparently unaware of the cancellation.
Laura, a law student from Florida, explained, "I heard about the event last night. I don't think everyone's here for Radiohead, but there's definitely more people standing around than usual."
"It's usually quite busy here on a Friday night," agreed Louise, a British fashion designer working in Tokyo. "I was thinking that they might do some kind of lazer show from the screens," she laughed, "and then Thom Yorke might appear on wires."
As the allotted time came, the crowds turned their faces towards the huge screens that hang over the Hachiko crossing, but the band were as good as their cancellation notice and the screens continued to run J-pop adverts. Chilly moments passed and the disappointed throng began to disperse.
"I don't think it's going to happen," sighed Steve, a fan here from Australia. "I saw that the band wouldn't actually be here on the news earlier, but I thought something might happen. I'm disappointed. I took the trouble to come down here."
However, Yukie, a Tokyoite and diehard Radiohead fan, stood firm. "I still have hope!" she laughed. "I've been waiting for 15 minutes. I might wait until tomorrow!"
18.59: Radiohead fail to make a splash in Shibuya
4.15pm: Official announcement
Hostess, the record company that deal with Radiohead's releases in Japan, have made a final, official announcement that tonight's planned event will definitely not take place in Shibuya due to safety concerns in the area.
Instead, the band have "something special" planned, to be screened on their Japanese website at 6.59pm, the same time stated in the original tweet that began 24 hours of Radioheaded confusion.
2.30pm update: rumours
The rumours flying about Tokyo at the moment range from the use of Shibuya's large TV screens to broadcast a song, or possibly even stream the whole album, to the rumoured announcement of Radiohead as a Fuji Rock Festival headline act. None of these can be confirmed, however.
A more serious report has suggested that the band's plan was to link up the three large P-Vision screens for a six minute broadcast, possibly a promotional video, but that concerns expressed by Tokyo police over the imminent arrival of thousands of fans may see the event cancelled altogether.
Check back with Time Out Tokyo to find out more as it happens.
The band's people are dismissing any big event, though an insider who wishes to remain nameless has told us the situation remains exciting. "Even the country's biggest promotion companies are unsure", he explained.
Meanwhile, Japanese Radiohead fan pages are on fire. Bloggers on the Mixi social networking site are threatening to descend on Shibuya's Hachiko Square in hordes. "Im hoping it's going to be a live streaming," says Pattsun, an avid user of the site. "Let's just go," says 110, reflecting the general feeling on the site; Sumishi backs him up, predicting, "thousands of visitors".
"It's amazing that they've chosen Shibuya", says Onni, hinting at the question most fans are asking.
Why Radiohead have chosen the centre of Tokyo for this event is fairly obvious: it's often cited as the busiest intersection in the world, and on Friday night, as offices close, a captive audience is guaranteed. What will go down tonight has yet to be seen. Meanwhile, Time Out Tokyo prepares to U-Stream...
Radiohead's Japanese record company, Hostess, are claiming no knowledge of any events taking place in Shibuya this evening. According to their Twitter account, "nothing is planned". We're betting that won't stop half the city turning up at Shibuya Station's Hachiko exit, though.
Radiohead, one of the UK's most influential rock bands, hinted last night at an appearance in Tokyo's Shibuya district, in a stunt that seems calculated to coincide with their latest album release, The King of Limbs, out on Saturday, February 19.
The message, which was posted in Japanese, translated as 'Hachiko Square, Shibuya, 18.59, Friday'. It promptly sent fans into a frenzy, with many speculating that the band would make a live appearance in the area — a spot best known for its crazy pedestrian congestion and overhanging TV screens.
However, hours later the band responded, somewhat cryptically, saying, "The band will not be in Japan tomorrow so people should not go to Shibuya expecting to see the band in person".
At the time of writing, the Twitter message has yet to be taken down.
Sources suggest that, while Thom Yorke and his pals will not be jetting in, something interesting may be afoot involving the aforementioned TV screens — possibly a multiple-screen synch up and performance broadcast.