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> To me, there is less or no small talk- definitely in places like Lawson and 7/11, but even department stores, with local or foreigner customers.

Even though I'm pretty basic, there are a couple of cashiers I'm friendly with / make small talk. I think it's there if you initiate it. Albeit, I'm pretty friendly / jovial.

> I noticed things go slower in Kyoto and other small towns, but no slower than small towns anywhere else in the world.

I think it depends on where in Tokyo you are. Ginza feels slower than Shibuya and Shinjuku to me. I'd say Tokyo is most like LA in how many different "feeling" neighborhoods / micro-cities you have within one area.

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