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 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Shinka Management looks forward to welcoming clients on Lean Japan Tours from the second half of 2022. 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
Lean Japan Tour - November 2022 - Kaizen Study Mission
6 Nov 2022 - 12 Nov 2022
Lean Japan Tour - December 2022 - Kaizen Study Mission
4 Dec 2022 - 10 Dec 2022
Lean Japan Tour - January 2023 - Kaizen Study Mission
22 Jan 2023 - 28 Jan 2023
Lean Japan Tour - March 2023 - Kaizen Study Mission
12 Mar 2023 - 18 Mar 2023
Lean Japan Tour - May 2023 - Kaizen Study Mission
21 May 2023 - 27 May 2023
Lean Japan Tour - July 2023 - Kaizen Study Mission
2 Jul 2023 - 8 Jul 2023
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…
Wow. What a great experience not just from a learning perspective but also a great cultural experience as well. From the start the group came together really well. It was a perfect mix of practical and theory, and to gain an insight into the Toyota Production System and see it in action at all the…
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…
I was a part of the November 2013 Lean Japan Tour and would highly recommend it for anyone who is serious about Lean Manufacturing. Ben and Paul are well organised and have put together a great tour. The tour is very enjoyable and a great insight into Lean manufacturing. I have come back with a…
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…
I personally believe that understanding of Lean as the holistic concept and Lean instruments is necessary for all the managers in any business. Shinka Management introduced for us the origins of Lean Production and provided a great opportunity to observe real companies where TPS principles are both implemented and being polished daily. Important parts of…
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.
One of the best weeks of my life. It has changed the way I see my production facility forever!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.