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Madness in Paris, the strange syndrome of Japanese tourists

Surrounded by a mythological aura, the Ville Lumiére is there to enchant and surprise. But something disturbs Japanese tourists.

Paris, the city of love, a picturesque paradise made up of classy women and kind men, of art and high fashion boutiques. All in a delicate and refined atmosphere. What better romantic trip than the one in the Ville Lumière?

Every year, the myth of Paris welcomes millions of tourists from all over the world. A good slice of visitors come from Japan: inevitable sun umbrellas, the latest generation camera, the visitors to the Rising Sun seem to literally go crazy for the French capital. And some in the true sense of the word...

Have you ever heard of Paris syndrome? This is a psychosomatic pathology that particularly afflicts Japanese tourists and manifests itself in a discomfort deriving from the gap between the idealization of the city, built by television and cinema, and reality.

Japanese culture (and not only that) depicts the French capital as a small postcard village, an ideal place where everyone is happy, rich and in love. When the tourist is dealing with the crowded meter, the chaos and the dirt of the streets, inhabitants anything but elegant and polite, here is the dream that breaks.

The effects of this disparity between the idealized and the real city are manifested by a disturbance which, depending on the case, ranges from dizziness to a sense of disappointment, to states of anxiety, cold sweats, hallucinations, depression and persecution.

Do you think that the Japanese embassy in Paris has even activated a telephone line, operating 24 hours a day, with the intent of providing psychological help to those who are affected by the Paris syndrome. But in almost all cases the only possible remedy is the immediate return home.