Japanese Tourists Succumb to ‘Paris Syndrome’

Travel Blog  •  Michael Yessis  •  10.24.06 | 8:09 AM ET

Or, as the New York Post headline goes, “Paris Leaves Japanese French Fried.” Funny headline for an amusing story—amusing, at least, for everyone but the Japanese travelers who get “Paris Syndrome.” The Post and Reuters, among others, are relaying a story from the French newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche, which claims that “a dozen Japanese tourists a year need psychological treatment after visiting Paris as the reality of unfriendly locals and scruffy streets clashes with their expectations.” Paris Syndrome was first reported in 2004 in a psychiatric journal. According to AA Gill, there is a cure. He writes in the Times: “The cure is called Rome, though there are side effects: it’s very addictive.”

12 Comments for Japanese Tourists Succumb to ‘Paris Syndrome’

GW 10.29.06 | 4:27 PM ET

I traveled to Paris from London via the Chunnel train. For being a French product, the food on that train was disguting. It was about what you would get out of a vending machine in America….barley recognizable and certainly not edible. My experience with the waiters in the bistros was mixed. Some of them were professional, and some were merely making fun of us because we were tourists. I saw all of the touristy sites. I must say that after years of hearing people gushing about how romantic and wonderful Paris was…I didn’t feel it. It’s just another another European city with some interesting historical perspectives, but certainly not the center of a self- ordained cultural universe. I think that Parisians are quite deluded about themselves and their importance in the real universe.

costa 10.29.06 | 5:19 PM ET

what is the big deal about paris?Its always been famous or infamous about thiefs.and fried snalesUgh.they are back biters.vichy french.colabarators.if it is so great why are there so many french here?

Kent 10.29.06 | 6:20 PM ET

My time in Paris was wonderful.  The only therapy I needed was when I got back to the US and tasted the food and was jolted back into a pace of life that does not include a 2 hour lunch.  The only truly rude person I encountered was an American woman.  The streets were not the cleanest but they were far cleaner than LA, Phoenix, or Portland. We walked all over the city at all hours and felt safer than I usually do in many parts of the cities I’ve explored in the States. I loved it and look forward to going back.

cat 10.29.06 | 6:44 PM ET

Toured Europe, Germany, Austria, Belgium….Paris was the worse part of the trip by far. Rude people, men peeing wherever they felt the need, dirty town, discusting. Been to Japan several times (daughter moved there). It’s a whole different world, respectful, clean, I love it.

Lorraine Henderson 10.29.06 | 8:07 PM ET

Loved Paris when I traveled there this past spring with my daughter.  It was a most wonderful trip and not enought time to experience the beauty and history of this great City.

So much history and not enough time.  Loved the museum and the historical places. 

Lorraine Henderson

Sandy 12.11.06 | 7:28 PM ET

Anytime you travel abroad, a clash with one’s anticipations and the reality is to be expected.  I think those that travel with the knowledge that what they find will not be perfect and will not perfectly match their expectations end up having a more positive experience than those with inflexible expectations.

Loretta Costa 05.30.07 | 12:14 PM ET

We found Paris exceptionally beautiful for the most part. As ever town, it has its share of dirty streets, but then you must remember, streets are not “inside ventures”. You would not expect to spread your lunch on the grounds of Paris or any other city. You must see Paris. You will enjoy it.

Jon 06.03.07 | 4:49 PM ET

@ costa

I suggest you check both your history and your spelling (Snales?). For your information, Paris is not famous for thieves and escargots are not fried. Vichy France did not include Paris, and in fact many Parisiens fought bravely in the Résistance. As for why there are so many French abroad, if America is so great, why are there so many Americans everywhere I go?

I love Paris, it’s a beautiful, cultured and historic city, with an understanding of what’s important in life: good food and wine and friends! Some of the stereotypes are over-rated, yes, but if you go with an open mind, it lives up to it’s publicity.

Jonze Wynn 06.07.07 | 4:59 PM ET

I am dreadfully sorry Costa, but I have no idea about this site. Your e-mail must have gotten rerouted. I have never heard of World Hum.

Japan 10.22.07 | 2:20 PM ET

We had a fantastic long weekend in Paris which must be the most romantic capital city in the world. So much to see and do and easy to get around on the metro. Sacre Couer magnificient, Notre Dame great and the Arc de Triompe well worth queuing to get in. Eat in the Latin Quater: great choice of reasonably priced restaurants especially if you stick to the set menus, we will certainly be returning.

Flight 11.21.07 | 10:17 AM ET

It is impossible not to fall in love with Paris. The city’s people are stylish and flirtatious, its architecture seductive, its restaurants and nightlife devoted to the pursuit of pleasure and its streets are scattered with dreams

thePARTIER 07.08.08 | 8:30 PM ET

i totally agree with rome of being the cure of the “PARIS-ache”!
but i gotta admit though that PARIS is a hot and sensual city too, hot people, hot nightlife parties, hot atmosphere but i just think rome is more welcoming and italians are really friendly too!

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