Wow. It was only the first day on the trip, and I broke my phone. How wonderful was that? I remember trying to decide whether or not to get it fixed in Japan or just wait until I returned to the United States.

Well, one week and three days later, we traveled to Kyoto. I had gotten through a majority of the trip with no phone. Who knew that was even possible? You may be wondering, “How do you get all of these beautiful pictures for the blog post?” Well, my roommate was kind enough to let me use her phone to take photos in Tokyo.

It honestly was a great experience without my smartphone glued to my side. I was able to absorb the culture of Japan and enjoy the sights with my undivided attention.

International calls for free!

Luckily, when we got to Kyoto we had…wait for it… a complimentary cell phone! Yes, you read that right! Our hotel provided each room with a cell phone that could be taken outside of the room. Of course, I took full advantage of this opportunity. The cell phone, called “Handy,” surely did come in handy for the rest of the trip. I was able to make international calls back home and wish my dad a Happy Father’s Day. Not only could I make international calls, but I was also able to take some pretty decent photos on the excursions around Kyoto.

Lunch at local restaurant in Kyoto. Photo taken with Handy.

Traveling with Handy

Before Handy was available, I had to follow a group so I would not get left behind on the open days. However, with “Handy” I was able to use Google Maps and navigate myself around Kyoto. It did not take long for me to figure out how to use the cell phone because it was pretty much like any other Android cell phone.

I used the navigation system to get me from the hotel to a local coffee shop. The directions were pretty easy to follow and the food was delicious. Also, on the home screen of the phone, it gave you an option of how I could spend my time in Kyoto. Most of the places suggested were places we had already visited, which was a great feeling. 


Top of Nijō Castle. Photo taken with Handy.


I was able to download Twitter onto the phone as well and update my followers about the fantastic study abroad trip. In addition, I got to let them know that I was okay. I used this phone for the next couple of days as if it were my own and it really made my experience in Kyoto better. I was able to stay connected with friends and family.





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