True North Excellence and Shinka Management invite you to the Lean Japan Tour 2020 for an experience of a lifetime


True North Excellence has partnered with Lean Japan tour specialist Shinka Management to bring you a study visit that will include:

  • Best Practice Lean Manufacturing site visits
  • Discussions with Factory Management
  • Hands-on Kaizen Activities
  • Lean Seminars
  • Sightseeing

Immerse yourself over one week 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 come home with a better understanding of how a continuous improvement culture can be embedded across your organisation.


  • Full Fee: US$6,750*
  • Early-bird: US$6,250*
  • (Cut-off date applies)



Accommodation, Meals, Transfers, Training, Factory Tours, Sightseeing, Interpreter



For further information email or telephone Jon Tudor, MD, True North Excellence at +44 (0) 161 298 5556


  • Japan Tour Itinerary (examle)


    Sunday 8th Nov 2020: Arrive Nagoya • Tour briefing & orientation • Japanese business etiquette seminar

    Monday 9th Nov 2020: Nagoya – Briefing & Site Visit • Lean implementation in Japan seminar • Toyota Body Seiko plant visit

    Tuesday 10th Nov 2020: Nagoya – Site Visits & Training • Toyota Production System seminar • Pressed components factory visit

    Wednesday 11th Nov 2020: Nagoya – Site Visits & Training • Kanban simulation and kaizen activity • Toyota production plant tour

    Thursday 12th Nov 2020: Nagoya – Site Visits & Training • Metal One Isuzu visit • Rinnai factory tour

    Friday 13th Nov 2020: Nagoya – Site Visit & Debriefing • Hamamatsu City Government visit • Time study and work sampling seminar

    Saturday 14th Nov 2020: Nagoya – Recovery • Nagoya Sightseeing • Departure from Narita Airport


    * Sample schedule only. Subject to change.


    Toyota - Aichi Prefecture

    Take a tour of one of Toyota’s production plants in Toyota City responsible for the manufacture of finished vehicles. Tour participants will experience the shop floor atmosphere and Toyota’s interactive training areas. The tour incorporates the two pillars of the Toyota Production System; Jidoka and Just-In-Time.


    Rinnai - Aichi Prefecture

    Visit a gas appliance and electronics company obsessed with quality. At Rinnai all employees participate in continuous improvement and Total Productive Maintenance efforts. Following the mantra ‘quality is our destiny’, Rinnai strives for a zero-defect status. Managers will lead a plant tour and presentation of Rinnai’s business, with a focus on its multi-product, mixed-flow production system based on actual demand.


    Gifu Auto Body - Gifu Prefecture

    Experience the Toyota Production System in action with excellent examples of JIT delivery, kanban, poka-yoke and 5S at Gifu Body, a supplier of finished vehicles to the Toyota Group. The tour group will visit the welding/assembly factory, a pressed components supplier, and the seat track factory for the Toyota Hi-Ace vehicle. Learn about their lean journey through discussions led by a former factory manager. The group will also participate in practical training sessions in a world-class lean training facility.


    Metal One Isuzu – Gifu Prefecture

    Learn from a company that is the epitome of 5S implementation and standardisation. Isuzu specialises in the processing and sales of cold rolled steel, and understands that in order to remain profitable in an old economy industry, it must focus on cutting costs by boosting business efficiency. The company boasts an excellent corporate culture and an engaged, dedicated and vibrant workforce.


    Metal One Isuzu – Gifu Prefecture

    Hamamatsu City Government - Shizuoka Prefecture

    Broaden your understanding of lean implementation beyond manufacturing. Kaizen principles have seen application in governments throughout Japan since the mid-90s.

    Hamamatsu City is a leader in applying kaizen to the public sector, with its “Good Job” program as a key approach to mobilizing staff to drive government reform.


    Lean Manufacturing Seminars

    Reinforce your understanding of lean fundamentals through seminars delivered on the Japanese approach to lean. Topics include the Toyota Production System, standardized work, time studies, work sampling and leading and implementing a lean culture.


    Japanese Cultural Experience

    Enjoy a journey like no other as you immerse yourself in an exhilarating mix of cultural and sightseeing experiences. You’ll have plenty of time to take in Japanese food and

    culture and explore some of Japan’s most amazing urban landscapes. The tour will commence with a seminar on Doing Business with the Japanese to provide participants

    with an understanding of Japanese culture and customs, business etiquette and insights into the management culture of Japanese companies.


    Conditions & Allowances:

    Participation fee does not include airfare, travel insurance or hotel personal expenses. Participants are required to hold travel insurance. Participants may choose flights of their preference, but are required to be in the hotel lobby by 4pm on the starting Sunday of the tour. Tour content descriptions based on previous tours, actual content and schedule may vary. Photo and video imagery from Tours may be used by Shinka Management for marketing purposes.


    POLICY: Registration of a completed Form indicates intention to take part in the Tour. Once this intention has been notified to Shinka Management, the booking must be secured by full payment of the fee within 14 days. Any participant may cancel or change their tour date without penalty 28 days prior to tour commencement. Any booking cancellation or change made between 28 days and 14 days prior to tour commencement will incur a US$500 fee. Any cancellation or change within 14 days of tour commencement will incur a US$1500 fee. The transfer of registration by participants within the same company is permitted. Shinka Management reserves the right to alter the tour dates up to 45 days prior to tour commencement. Shinka Management asks participants to refrain from purchasing their airfare or travel insurance until 45 days prior to tour commencement unless given earlier clearance. Shinka Management will take no responsibility for the refund of airfares or travel insurance. Shinka Management accepts no liability for any loss or damages or expenses of any kind.

    For further information email or telephone Jon Tudor, MD, True North Excellence at +44 (0) 161 298 5556