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
All Shinka Management lean tours for 2020 have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with all registered participants offered a choice of full refund or postponement. Shinka Management looks forward to welcoming clients on Lean Japan Tours in 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
Businesses need every weapon at their disposal to help compete in a global market. This tour opens up more ideas and opportunities and is highly recommended to manufacturers, engineering or service related industries. Everyone can learn something on this tour! Paul and Ben have done a marvelous job of putting together an action-packed week, which…
It was an inspiring week with great learnings around lean and how it is applied across various levels of the supply chain. The tour also provides a nice glimpse into the Japanese culture with its amazing food and friendly people.
One of the best weeks of my life. It has changed the way I see my production facility forever!
I am now back in the office in rainy Seattle and wanted to say a huge thank you, once again for making the lean tour such an enjoyable learning experience. There are so many valuable learnings and enriching experiences that I am looking forward to sharing with my team and colleagues here in the coming days. I…
Dear Paul, Thank you for the nice experience you and your team were able to provide me! It has been a very professional tour and even more a very nice human connection with you, David and Eri. You have built a nice team that makes people’s lives change! Ciao, Maurizio
This trip really enlightened me in some specific lean topics and showed me all the beneficial aspects of lean manufacturing. The biggest take away for me was a deeper appreciation of not just the tools but the philosophy. The way the trip was organised and flowed was amazing. Thanks to Paul and David from Shinka…
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 Previous Lean Tours
Further feedback from our tour alumni can be viewed on the lean mission testimonials page.
I attended the Shinka Management / Ai Group / JMAC Lean Japan Study Tour in 2010 – outstanding, highly recommended. (I don’t have this much fun when I go on holiday.) To see the cultural home of Lean Manufacturing is an experience you will never forget. Ride on a bullet train, walk the factory floor in Toyota plants and talk to the production people, see modular housing being produced on a Lean Production line. Eat in a different Japanese restaurant every night, practice your Karaoke, see Tokyo – amazing! Our tour was guided by Ben Sparrow, an Aussie who is fluent in Japanese and great company (night and day). The Japan Lean Manufacturing tour is a “must do” for anyone serious about understanding world class manufacturing!
Paul and Ben from Shinka Management need to be commended for the tour that they ran in Japan. The experience has enlightened and energised me to intensify the lean efforts within our organisation. The tour was packed full of knowledge building as well as relationship building with other participants all whilst experiencing a cultural treat that normally only a local would be able to show you. Thank you for a once in a lifetime trip Shinka – I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone in business.
A high quality, professional and first-hand experience of how just-in-time and lean are mastered. Great for professional development and a genuine motivator to go further using the lean tools available. A marvelous cultural experience.
Not for the fainthearted, this action-packed tour will blow you away. It’s a one-week learning adventure supercharged with information on TPS (Lean) principles. The learning experiences and companies visited far exceeded expectations. The Japanese managers we met were friendly and excited to share their experiences.
If you desire change within your organisation and are not sure what you need, then this is the trip for you and your company. You have been warned; “this could lead to some serious self-analysis on how GOOD companies operate!”
Thanks to Ben & Paul for the well organised trip from beginning to end.
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.
Personally and professionally I found the week extraordinarily rewarding – not only as a fantastic Lean Japan Tour but as a cultural experience not to be missed.
Imagine if you will… taking a group of people you had never met before, under your wing, in one of the most crowded cities in the world. Plenty of traditional food and drink, immersing them in culture, filling their heads with Lean (TPS) concepts and depriving them of sleep whilst being the only two people in the group that can speak Japanese. What could go wrong? All this whilst maintaining the integrity of yourselves and your business (Shinka Management) – which was upheld 24 hours a day. Paul and Ben, you did a fantastic job and the respect for yourselves and your company was apparent with every business we visited. The way the trip was coordinated and flowed was a testament to the organizational skills of both Ben and Paul from Shinka Management.
The systems, machinery, processes and people in Japanese businesses are something to be admired. The passion for TPS shown by every staff member was evident and the dedication shown at all levels of management was significant. The TPS is at such a high level at some of the sites visited that you realize how many more opportunities there are at your own site. Even if the factories are unrelated to your own industry, the message is more about the process and disciplines used to get the business to the current state. Small steps to achieve the ultimate goal, remembering that each one of these businesses started off somewhere and the origin of TPS was born out of a “need” for business continuity.
I have emerged with a new passion and enthusiasm for Lean manufacturing. If you have the opportunity for this fantastic tour, you will not regret it, it is an investment in you and your company’s future.