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 Japan Tour – COVID-19 Update
The Shinka Management lean tour program is on hold through to mid-2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shinka Management looks forward to welcoming clients on Lean Japan Tours from the second half of 2021. Registrations are currently open.
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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.
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
The fact that you can go past all the books and see the Toyota Production System in action first hand is fantastic. It is not sold in a complicated form by those involved but rather the opposite. The training room was found to be hands on and simple allowing us to touch and feel examples…
The tour has given me the opportunity to understand in a practical way what I learned theoretically. I have checked that the theory is possible to put in practice. This has been the first time that I have felt the lean manufacturing philosophy first hand. Congratulations to the Shinka Team. The organisation has been perfect…
A great tour. Having spent over 20 years in manufacturing I now understand the true meaning of Kaizen.
The whole tour was very professionally undertaken and led. Paul and Ben have to be congratulated for putting together a very informative and very enjoyable experience. The itinerary was excellent and to see from the raw material all the way through the supply chain through to the finished product was superb. I loved the thought…
I thoroughly enjoyed my time on the November 2013 tour. I learned so much about Japanese culture and TPS. Despite coming from the IT industry, I was able to gain valuable insights on the philosophy and principles of Lean that I can apply in my industry. Ben and Paul are top-notch guides. Their wealth of…
During the Lean Japan Tour I came to the realization that improving an organization is not through large capital investments alone. We were completely surrounded by examples of minor investments into small improvements that produced significant savings. The clever use of visual management techniques gave a clear understanding of the current situation and Ben who…
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.
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.
Had the pleasure to accompany Ben and clients on the 2007 Lean Japan Tour. I had worked with many Japanese, ASEAN, UK and US firms and as such have participated in benchmarking assignments and tours of their operations. Some involved attending and presenting at various strategy, productivity and quality management conferences. In that context, I was so taken away with Shinka Management’s tour. The productivity best practice survey lessons learned and lectures from our Japanese hosts followed by excellent Tokyo and Nagoya plant tours were breathtaking and one of the most enjoyable learning experiences. The re-enforcement of the little continual improvement activities, coordination and collaboration of all the companies and their suppliers was “in-your-face” so to speak. There was little need for explanation in some ways as the plants were “visual” and Ben’s clarifications were timely – every time. He filled the gaps in our understanding and what Ben’s clients had achieved by their productivity, quality and lean interventions. As for the personal time, the co-tour attendees and Ben’s hosting were memorable. During the in-bus post plant tour de-briefs it was interesting to hear what each of us got out of the visit and what we learned from what we saw – different eyes, experience and perspectives. Brilliant!
The fact that you can go past all the books and see the Toyota Production System in action first hand is fantastic. It is not sold in a complicated form by those involved but rather the opposite. The training room was found to be hands on and simple allowing us to touch and feel examples of good practice. I am looking forward to sharing my time with colleagues through the feedback sessions planned.
If you have embarked on a lean journey The Lean Study Tour should be on your bucket list!
It was inspiring to see the Toyota Production System in action as a management system, as well as the small improvements made day in and day out by dedicated and motivated teams all striving to continuously improve. Paul, Ben, Tony and Juan (tour leaders) did an outstanding Job of guiding us through Japan, and highlighting where TPS is improving society as well as manufacturing. Their subtle lines of questioning and coaching combined with observing TPS in action and the instruction of Japanese Sensei inspired tour participants on how they can effect change.
Every detail from transport to meals and accommodation were professionally managed and executed. Practical learning environments such as the Toyota group training center consolidated class room learning with hands on experimentation which lead to real “ah ha” moments with many tour participants.
This tour was an extremely rewarding and enjoyable learning experience. I highly recommend the Lean Study Tour.
I had several projects that I had been procrastinating on. They seemed too big, too complicated and I was actually struggling to know where to start. Without a word of a lie, after the first day I came back to my hotel room and wrote up the backbone of my strategy using the skills I learnt of the first day.
I enjoyed every aspect of this extremely well organised kaizen tour including: factory visits, translations by Paul and Ben, TPS training, sightseeing, accommodation, transportation, and meals. This tour is a must for anyone trying to understand / implement LEAN into their business or organisation. I hope the tour continues for many years to come as I would like to do it again in future.