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.
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…
Shinka Management organized an excellent tour. It was structured to capture professional development and cultural experience. The tour also provided me with experiences related not only to the local culture and food of Japan, but also to the culture and languages of fellow participants from all over the world. This tour has made a significant…
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…
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…
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…
I highly recommend the Lean Study Tour of Japan as an experience not to be missed. Having attended the tour for the past three years, supporting our clients, I have come away with new learnings every time. Whether you are new to Lean Thinking or well into your Lean Journey you will undoubtedly have an…
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.
Amazing Tour. Great experience to see and share with Japanese managers. I learned a lot about their culture, their way to think, to work and to improve by themselves. Great moments during training and after work. Thanks a lot. We will return back home with a new eye and mindset.
The one week Lean Japan Tour not only validates ‘how lean can make business sense’ but also provides the opportunity to learn and share with professionals across different industries.
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!
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.
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 is fluent in Japanese was able to remove any language barriers. The open discussions with local senior management helped me identify the misconceptions I had regarding Lean Manufacturing. From the tour I came away with a much broader comprehension of the key elements and how each company had achieved them. We saw the application of lean in various industries – not just automotive. Having said that, what we did experience with the automotive visits were certain management concepts that I realized could be applied in many other situations. In our case we implemented “one piece flow” and “process value mapping” and achieved considerable savings. The tour was a seamless and very professional experience and the group was able to gain a better understanding of the Japanese culture. This is not just a tour for production people but for everybody with an open mind to improve processes, like for myself coming out of Finance.
I would highly recommend the tour to anyone who is in the business of improving people. The ideas stimulated through this tour have helped me reform our entire vision of what improvement means for our business.