“Jappalachia”: Connections Between the Appalachian Trail and Japan’s Shinetsu Trail

a trail in the forest
Monday, April 5, 2021 (All day) to Friday, December 31, 2021 (All day)

“Jappalachia”: Connections Between the Appalachian Trail and Japan’s Shinetsu Trail explores how the concept of a “long trail” has traveled through the world and evolved in changing relationships to the environment. The Shinetsu Trail and Appalachian Trail are both nationally funded long-distance trails established during times of increasing industrialization. This exhibit explores how social and environmental changes that followed in the areas helped spur the development of a long trail. Though the connections may be surprising, the relationships between the two trails reveal the manifold purposes and unique aspects of the places they serve.

This exhibit was inspired by the curator’s experiences on the Appalachian Trail and her family’s personal connection to Katō Noriyoshi (1949–2013), one of the founders of the Shinetsu Trail. Inspired by Katō’s dedication to sharing the experience of hiking a long trail with others, the curator explored how the connections between the two trails developed, through conversations with individuals who helped found the Shinetsu Trail and people who are involved with it today. Personal photos from the curator’s thru-hike of the Shinetsu Trail in the summer of 2019 are featured along with other sources that aided her exploration of this subject for the senior thesis of the Environmental Studies major. The curator hopes that this exhibit can illustrate the relationships between the two trails and strengthen the budding international partnership between them.

Curated by Sarah Adams ‘20