I have heard of this “problem” which some Japanese visiters experience at Paris. Looks like it is now called “Paris Syndrome”

PARIS (Reuters) – Around 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, a newspaper reported Sunday.

“A third of patients get better immediately, a third suffer relapses and the rest have psychoses,” Yousef Mahmoudia, a psychologist at the Hotel-Dieu hospital, next to Notre Dame cathedral, told the newspaper Journal du Dimanche.

[from “Paris Syndrome” leaves Japanese tourists in shock | Oddly Enough | Reuters.com]

Basically, there is a huge difference in what you expect from Paris, and the reality of Paris. In Japan, we have a very stereotype image of Paris. As this woman says:

A Japanese woman, Aimi, told the paper:

“For us, Paris is a dream city. All the French are beautiful and elegant … And then, when they arrive, the Japanese find the French character is the complete opposite of their own.”

We often call Paris “hana-no-miyako” (The City of Beauty) or “geijutsu-no-miyako” (The City of Arts). I have been to Paris. True in some ways, but that is only the bright side. Like any metropolitan city, there are dark side, often never talked about.

I suppose we have a similar image to the whole country of France, though it didn’t say anything about that in the article.