Hi Mika and Dan, thanks for your help! Suica is fascinating. I just did a bit of reading on FeliCA which powers suica. Using your phone as a pre-paid or credit card ... cool.
One weird thing between the U.S. & Japan is that the while the U.S. has plenty of Internet startups, my guess is that Japan has few. However, while U.S. has slooooow broadband speeds, Japan has insanely fast fiber optic connections that are affordable for consumers. 67 Mbps download and 52 Mbps upload is just nuts.