What the Japanese network does that the UK rail network does not (Oh, and why i-mode failed)
2) work fast
3) provides excellent info, even in a foreign language, and with multi-modal connections. The interface is far from perfect, but it gives you train composition, complete timetables for each service, etc.
http://www.hyperdia.com and follow the blue button on the top-right for English
National Snail Enquiries is a joke in comparison, as is the rail service it holds data for (although the recent release has some more useful features), and none of it is in Japanese.
I had the joy of business development in mobile games in 1999-2001. The big money was thought to be in i-mode, because the revenue share model was very generous. I think (hazy memory) NTT took c. 15% and left the rest with the content provider, and it provided a billing system, which was beyond all the European telco's.
This was because it was sensible enough to realise that it was a dumb pipe between service consumers and providers. The 'phone company does not try to script your conversations so why should they control your service access? They are a pipe.
Compare this with other companies that demand >50% revenue splits or, in the case of arrogant BT, demanded a £10k's carriage fee! I signed the first mobile games deal in the USA, with AT&T, in 3 months of negotiating: in my 3 years with the company before I left, we had still not done a deal with BT despite the talks predating my working there. This was the general pattern, in all fifty carriage deals we built: North American companies were usually more generous and quicker to decide (and, in the case of Sprint, provided a shit-hot data network to deliver services on); European companies were too busy preening themselves over GSM to think about the customer experience or the need for a content ecosystem.
Funnily enough, it turned out all the money was in SMS, lame daily joke servers, gambling and "one-handed applications", not cool envelope-pushing Java or WAP games.