Erin Peters

Feb. 19

“It was like being a superstar.”

That is how Erin Peters described the three and a half years she lived in Japan. Now living in Beaumont, Texas, Peters taught English in Iwate-ken. The rural village was home to about 800 people, and she was “the only white person for miles and miles.”

Peters participated in a program called Japanese English Teaching, or JET, teaching kids between the ages of six and 18.

She said the highlight of her time in Japan was the people. “[The Japanese] are so honest and open about things. You can sleep on the trains ... you can put your purse down, wake up and it will still be there.”

In 2006, Peters took a day trip to the Temples of Nikko, a popular tourist destination about 75 miles north of Tokyo, where she captured the top-rated image in this week’s It’s A Snap photo contest.

“It was lucky,” she said. Peters was under an awning just after a heay rain when she walked out, aimed her point-and-shoot camera at the Shinkyo Bridge and snapped the photo. “There was nothing fancy, no image alteration … that’s just what it looked like.”

Peters, now married, was solo during her time in Japan. From Japan, she traveled to Taiwan, Cambodia and China. In college, she studied abroad in Zimbabwe.

Ireland is next up for the adventurous traveler. In May, Peters will meet up with an Irish friend who also taught in Japan, but it’s going to be a girls-only trip.

“My husband doesn’t travel,” she said.

We’re guessing she’ll manage just fine.

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