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my ebook

Horizon Japan book cover, by Patrick Colgan

My book Horizon Japan is now available in English (ebook and paperback). It has been a bestseller for two years now on Amazon in Italian (my first language) and it’s a collection of short stories from my first eight trips to the country.

If you are looking for the bonus content is here – Horizon Japan bonus content

Where do I buy it?

Horizon Japan is published by goWare, a small Italian publisher based in Florence.


From the crowds of Tokyo to the bears of the far North, from the jungle of the tropical islands to the blooming cherry trees in Kyoto, eventually arriving at the big emptiness left by the devastating 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster. Patrick Colgan, journalist and traveller, immerses himself in Japanese culture, nature and cuisine and writes habout his discovery of a seemingly incomprehensible country. A place, Japan, where feeling a little lost can be fascinating, and trips never really end.

Horizon Japan: reviews

  • 4.04 stars on Goodreads.
  • “The author writes that it’s not a guide and maybe he’s right, it isn’t, but the desire to travel it leaves you with makes it perhaps more useful than a guide” from No Borders Magazine (review originally published in Italian)
  • “This collection of short stories is an intriguing glimpse into what it is like to travel in Japan.” Shannon on
  • “Would I recommend this book? Yes. Even if one already knows a lot about Japan, or is a complete newbie to the country, this book will be fun for both of them” 3.5/5 stars on Twirling book princess
  • 4/5 stars on Big Al’s Books and Pals (and also another less favourable review, though I don’t agree on some of the criticism)
  • “The book is not only for those planning to visit Japan, but also for all those who like to read about different places, their culture, cuisine, and language” 5/5 stars – Mamta Madhavan on Readers’ favorite

Read an excerpt

You can download for free the first 15 pages of Horizon Japan

This is an excerpt from the first chapter of Horizon Japan.

Tokyo subway

The railway is drawing me into Tokyo’s enormous stomach, this gigantic abdomen. It’s the Narita express moving along the tracks, but to me it seems that a superior force is inexorably dragging us along  these bundles of intertwined nerves. Tokyo is a huge living being, and the gargantuan railway and underground stations are its synapses. The people, the crowds, moving in an orderly way inside them, are the electrical pulses giving life to this city. Everything seems to obey laws, patterns infinitely repeating in the habits of millions of people getting together there. These scores falter only at certain times, always the same. It’s not during the morning rush hour, when platoons of resigned office workers end up squeezed into overflowing underground cars. No, that’s everyday life. The system seems on the verge of falling to pieces only at closing time on the weekends, when the crowd dissolves at around midnight, dashing for the last train, staggering from the way-too-many drinks had in the izakayas with their colleagues. The image of this city as something alive, an enormous stomach, an intertwinement of nerves and arteries, stays with me. It has been fixed in my mind for two years, ever since I saw an exhibition on Metabolism, a Japanese architectural movement which included Kenzo Tange among others.
It theorized, briefly, that men, and life, adapt to changes in the environment; that cities renew themselves continuously in a constant exchange. Or this is how I understood it, perhaps wrongly. This idea stuck in my mind and inevitably made me think of the city as a living organism which grew with its inhabitants. And while I was in a lift, climbing to the top of the sky-high Mori Tower that hosted the exhibition, I was still obsessed with what I saw, like the model of an immense megalopolis of 100 million people imagined between Tokyo and Osaka. And here I was, surrounded by a sea of lights as far as my eyes could see. Tokyo, with its 13 million lives, was an ocean-city. And from that height the streets, the trains, looked like blood vessels, the conduits through which the fluids of a huge living being flowed. While I was trying to resist the freezing cold wind of that winter night, I could hear the city’s background noise, its big, deep breath that reached me from below.

First copies in English! Prime copie in inglese! . (Available on amazon and other websites) #horizonJapan #orizzontegiappone #japan #giappone #libri #books #travelbooks #goware