Toyota Motor Corporation is a leading Japanese car manufacturer, and the home of the Toyota Production System (TPS), a world-famous lean management philosophy founded on the two key pillars of Jidoka and Just-In-Time.
Lean tour information in other languages:
Registrations now Open for Lean Japan Tours in 2024
Lean Japan Tour | 7-13 April 2024 [Full – Join Waitlist]
Lean Japan Tour in Spanish | 21-27 April 2024
Lean Japan Tour | 12-18 May 2024
Lean Japan Tour | 1-7 September 2024
Lean Japan Alumni Tour | 6-12 October 2024 [Past participants only]
Lean Japan Tour | 10-16 November 2024
Lean Japan Tour | 17-23 November 2024 [Möbius | Europe]
Immerse yourself into the original Japanese thinking behind lean and its successful application across a range of industries.
Whether you are new to the concept of lean, or searching for that next level of achievement, you will return home with a better understanding of how lean can be successfully implemented and sustained within your organization.
The Lean Japan Tour is run by Shinka Management. Our first lean tour was first run in 2007, and the program has since been attended by senior management and lean leaders from over 60 countries. Positions are limited to 20 participants per lean tour and registrations are accepted on a first-come first-served basis.
Tours are run either in English or Spanish. Find the one that suits you best in the up-coming Lean Japan Tours section below.
Read a report and participant feedback from one of our recent lean tour programs which visited Tokyo, Inuyama and Ashikaga.
Up-coming Lean Japan Tours
Includes accommodation, meals and drinks, train and coach transfers, airport meet & greet, company tours, seminars, hands-on training, sightseeing, interpreters. Does not include airfare, travel insurance and meals on two free evenings and Saturday lunch.
Example industries visited: Automotive, Appliances, Metal Processing, Electronics, Food & Beverage, Government, Healthcare
Travel Terms and Conditions: Download
This file must be read and agreed to by all participants.
Lean Japan Tour - April 2024 - Kaizen Study Mission [Full - Join waitlist]
7 Apr 2024 - 13 Apr 2024
Lean Japan Tour in Spanish - April 2024 - Kaizen Study Mission
21 Apr 2024 - 27 Apr 2024
Lean Japan Tour - May 2024 - Kaizen Study Mission
12 May 2024 - 18 May 2024
Lean Japan Tour - September 2024 - Kaizen Study Mission
1 Sep 2024 - 7 Sep 2024
Lean Japan Alumni Tour - October 2024 - Kyushu
6 Oct 2024 - 12 Oct 2024
Lean Japan Tour - November 2024 - Kaizen Study Mission
10 Nov 2024 - 16 Nov 2024
Lean Japan Tour - November 2024 - Möbius and Shinka Management Program [Europe-based companies]
17 Nov 2024 - 23 Nov 2024
Depending on demand we occasionally announce additional tour dates. If you do not see your preferred date above please contact us to inquire about other options.
I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to learn the Toyota Production System from the source. I look forward to implementing the many findings in our plant. This experience has given me a different approach to improving our plant’s lean journey. Thank you again for everything.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the lean tour to Japan. Not only have I learned lots of new concepts that I’m keen to implement in our business, but I also loved the cultural experiences and insight into the people of Japan. The tour organizers bent over backward to make us feel welcome and anticipate our every…
The Lean Japan Tour allowed me to understand in a practical and conceptual way the real essence of just-in-time and operational efficiency. The dedication of the team and their attention to detail have made this an unforgettable experience.
This was my third visit to Japan with Shinka Management and it is difficult for me to find the right words to express my gratitude for such a well-organized tour and my appreciation for the high quality and on-target content. In my previous visits I received very valuable information related to continuous improvement principles and…
I was very impressed with the professionalism and preparedness of the Shinka team. The support both before and during the tour was fantastic. It was the right mix of culture and personal development. There were lots of learnings I will take with me.
I highly recommend this tour. You will learn lean from the experts which will greatly facilitate your lean journey.
Benefits of participating in a lean study tour
The Lean Japan Tour will broaden your thinking and build your knowledge of lean management principles. You’ll experience lean implementation, kaizen and kaikaku philosophies in some of Japan’s top companies, and develop the understanding necessary to implement these within your organization.
Shinka Management specializes in lean consulting and has been running lean study missions to Japan since 2007. The lean manufacturing tour includes an intensive week of factory visits, senior management discussions, training in a Toyota Group lean training facility and Japanese cultural experiences. We look after you from the moment you touch-down in Nagoya, providing train transfers and private bus transport, first-class accommodation and meals, cultural guidance and interpreting services.
You’ll enjoy this experience of a lifetime, and return home energized and ready to help your company take its next step in its lean journey.
- Learn lean principles directly from the source
- Gain valuable business insights and learnings to be transferred to your business
- Visit world-class lean facilities, including companies spanning the Toyota supply chain
- Hold discussions with senior management and draw on their decades of experience
- Learn best practices for implementing and sustaining lean culture
- Challenge yourself with hands-on training in a Toyota group lean training facility
- Share experiences with tour participants from across the globe
- Experience Japanese culture and cuisine during an unforgettable week of professional development
About the lean tour
The Lean Japan Tour is a customized guided tour to visit world class lean organizations in Japan. This is an opportunity to explore the factory premises, observe the processes, communicate with lean practitioners and learn from the experts in lean manufacturing. The lean tour comprises a combination of seminars, hands-on training experiences, management discussions and site visits, that have been tailored to develop your lean awareness and capability, and to help you solve your operational challenges.
Move beyond theory and experience lean manufacturing in action. Discuss managers’ experiences and learn how to implement a lean culture and use of the following lean tools within your organisation.
- Toyota Production System (TPS)
- Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)
- Total Quality Management (TQM)
- 5S, Standard Work
- Visual Management, Kanban
- Just-In-Time, Jidoka
Japanese Cultural Experience
Enjoy a journey like no other as you immerse yourself in an exhilarating mix of cultural experiences. Visiting Japan is a unique and enriching experience, and you’ll have plenty of time to take in the food and culture and explore some of Japan’s most amazing urban landscapes.
Day One of the Lean Japan Tour typically includes training on Japanese business etiquette and culture to ensure participants make the most of their week interacting with local industry leaders and experiencing this truly wonderful country.
Lean Company Visits and Factory Tours
Shinka Management has an extensive network of world-leading Japanese lean companies. Since 2007 our tours have visited lean companies in a range of industries for facility tours and discussions with senior management.
Customized Lean Tours and Japan-Based Lean Training Programs
Shinka Management also runs private customized kaizen study tours and Japan study missions for companies and universities, as well as three, four or five-day kaizen training programs at a Toyota Group lean training facility and associated factories in Japan. Contact us to discuss customizing a lean professional development program for your organization, or learn more about our lean training courses.
Comments from Lean Tour Participants
Further feedback from our lean tour alumni can be viewed on the lean mission testimonials page.
A very intensive and learning Lean Japan Study tour. Alternating with company tours, training session and feeling the Japanese culture. Experiencing the TPS live generated many new inputs and ideas for me. I can recommend it to anyone interested in Lean / Kaizen, but also to experts. It shows what culture is behind it and what can be achieved when we tackle it. Everything is planned from A-Z and it is also constantly being improved. Name is program *Shinka* Management well done.
I would like to give my deepest thanks for helping us end the executive program on a high note. This week has summarized TPS / VPS in a very practical and eye-opening manner. The lean journey has become real and exemplified through the many visits we have done. The coaching by Hattori Sensei, and by David and Paul has helped to demystify what needs to be done to become successful. Also, by including a bit of Japanese culture, it made the week extra memorable. We had full support with everything from hotels, meals, tickets, etc. and this made us all relax, and focus on the learning and reflection of what we have seen.
The thing about the Lean Japan Tour by Shinka Management is that it’s not focused only on production efficiency, but also involves the lean way of managing people & reducing waste as a path to improving an organization’s quality & efficiency.
We had the chance to visit different plants, and the privilege of meeting sensei from different backgrounds.
I express my appreciation to the Shinka Management team who organized this joyful & knowledgeable trip. Especially Paul for keeping the knowledge flowing even during the bus rides, Eri for the fluent interpreting & the coordination of our stay in Japan, and Juan for sharing his long experience within Japanese automotive manufacturers that applied kaizen. The team’s passion for lean management and expertise elevated the entire experience.
The Lean Japan Tour was an educational and exciting experience. The Shinka Management team with its impeccable all-round service ensured that the head and heart were free and open the whole time to be able to collect the many impressions. The factory tours, in connection with getting to know the country and culture, have expanded my lean experience in many ways. Thank you for the excellent organization and the exciting learning opportunities.
The Shinka lean study mission of Japan offers participants an opportunity to see what is possible in undertaking world class manufacturing. The insights that are possible on tours like this can really challenge what you think are the real key success factors for implementation and enhance the chance of success in your own journey.
Dear Paul, Ben and Eri,
We would just like to take a moment to thank you for such a wonderful tour. You exceeded all our expectations for a week long journey – from your very professional approach and even more personal service. The week was extremely insightful, and we could not stop talking about what we were going to do when we returned home.
Each plant tour, Q&A and debriefing were all very professional and informative. These taught us so much to help us move forward on our lean journey. Not only were the days very enjoyable but the nights were fantastic and fun. We learned so much about lean as well as experiencing the Japanese culture and the wonderful people.
Since we have been back the four of us have been very quick and extremely effective in rolling out many Kaizen improvements, setting takt times, 5s’ing many areas and much more (fantastic work). I’ve had much time to reflect and think about the tour and our next steps. We’ve written a training manual in 4 modules and have just completed the first module of training through the entire company.
We certainly have a new buzz flowing in and around the company and looking forward to this wonderful journey. Full credit to all of you. This has been the best tour we have ever been a part of and we will be sending more of our team in the future.