Handy, the hotel-provided smartphone

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.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

exterior of kyoto shimbun
Feature Story Kyoto

Kyoto Shimbun: a chronicle of tradition and modernism

Take a look inside the pages and the process of the Kyoto Shimbun.

Read More
Tea cups of matcha and bamboo whisks to blend the matcha with water
Feature Story Kyoto

Traditional tea ceremony in Kyoto

Nestled amidst the tranquil beauty of Kyoto, the traditional tea ceremony holds a revered place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. Travelers can immerse themselves in the essence of Japanese culture as they are transported to a realm of serenity and harmony. The tea ceremony in Kyoto is regarded as an art form, […]

Read More
Entrance veiw of Ryozen Kannon statue.
Feature Story Kyoto

Unveiling the serene majesty of Ryōzen Kannon

In the heart of Kyoto, a serene sanctuary silently stands, captivating travelers with its ethereal presence. The majestic Ryōzen Kannon is a renowned Buddhist temple that exudes tranquility and reverence. Nestled amidst the lush greenery of the Higashiyama mountains, this hidden gem invites visitors to dive into a world of spiritual solace and contemplation. Approached […]

Read More