Highlights of KaizenTour

Of course, what is considered a tour's highlight can vary from person to person. Below, you can see some of the possibilities:

  • Meet world-class Lean at companies
  • Learn to think Lean in a Dojo
  • Meet the culture that created Lean
  • Gain more knowledge about Lean through seminars, etc.

Meet world-class Lean at companies.

During a KaizenTour, there are 4-6 company visits. A visit typically starts with the company providing an overview of the company and its work on process optimization. Then, there is a guided tour – often in smaller groups – followed by a Q&A session with company representatives. After each visit, there is a group discussion on "what can be taken home from the visit."

The visited companies vary from tour to tour, depending on the participants' areas of interest.

Below are descriptions of 4 different company visits.


Kaizen at TOTO


TOTO is Japan's largest manufacturer of sanitary products such as toilets and sinks. TOTO is especially known for its extensive employee involvement in kaizen work. They receive over 800 employee suggestions per month .

Nissan motor

Nissan - Automation with a capital A

The factory produces all of Nissan's engines and is highly automated. 95% of production is automated, with only the final assembly of the engine blocks involving human labor. The cycle time for all production processes is 1 minute.

5S i skuffe

5S as a company philosophy.

Up in the mountains, there is a small printed circuit board factory that has developed 5S work to permeate the entire company - even making it its company philosophy. Learn how consistent use of a Lean tool can transform a company.

Toyota motomachi fabrik

Go Gemba at Toyota

Motomachi factory is one of 6 Toyota factories in Toyota City. It was founded in 1959. The factory has approximately 8,000 employees and produces around 80,000 cars annually. The factory is considered a flagship for Toyota and trains employees from all over the world in TPS (Toyota Production System).

Learn to think Lean in a Dojo

A dojo is originally a protected place where one can practice before going into battle – a training room. In many Japanese companies, you will find Dojos that train employees in everything from tool handling to preventing workplace injuries. The Dojo is typically located near the workplace. In our KaizenTour, a Dojo with TPS is included. It can be scheduled for 2 half-days or one full day. In the Dojo, participants are trained in TPS by experienced Toyota instructors. The training consists of both a theoretical part and a practical "hands-on" part.

The theoretical Part

The theoretical part includes presentations by the instructors about TPS and an introduction to the use of the Standard Operation Combination Sheet for mapping work processes.  The presentations about TPS include both a more fundamental introduction and discussions of the most commonly used tools. For many, it may sound familiar. However, previous participants have emphasized that what makes the experience special is that here, you get a clear impression of how Lean/TPS was originally conceived – and not as we have encountered it – in the Western interpretation.

The practical part.

The practical part consists of a concrete assembly exercise. Components need to be assembled at 3 workstations. Instructors handle the work processes while participants learn:

Mapping the process

Identifying improvements

Implementing the right improvements

Feedback from participants in the practical exercise typically highlights that here they truly sharpen their awareness of the requirements for what constitutes an improvement.

Impression from the Dojo:

The 5 principles for designing a workplace.

Meet the culture that created Lean.

Many believe that kaizen is developed as a Lean concept. The truth is that kaizen is deeply rooted in Japanese culture. Practicing Lean the right way, therefore, requires some insight into the culture that created it


Lean and Japanese culture

The development and use of Lean fundamentally rely on Japanese culture. For example, the number 5 is considered a "good number" - hence 5 Whys and 5S. On KaizenTour, we emphasize that participants gain insight into Japanese culture and mindset.

Det gyldne tempel

Culture and temples

Japanese temples and temple grounds are a good example of the fundamental principles of Lean in their architecture and garden layouts, emphasizing simplicity and order. During the tour, we visit the large temple area in the ancient capital of Kyoto.


Efficient Japan

Japan has perhaps the world's most efficient transportation system. The king of it is the Shinkansen, a high-speed train that connects all major cities. We will ride the Shinkansen past Mount Fuji and experience the sensation of traveling at 380 km/h (236 mph).

Tokyo fodgængerovergang

The world's largest city

Tokyo has 38 million inhabitants and is the world's largest city. It doesn't have a single center but many centers. As visitors, you will be overwhelmed by the crowds of people and traffic. It truly feels like a different world. During the tour, we stay in Tokyo for a few days and have a guided sightseeing tour to the main attractions.


The unique Japanese cuisine

Japanese cuisine is both simple and sophisticated. During the tour, you will get to know the most famous dishes and the Japanese way of eating.

Did you know that Japan produces a whiskey that has been named the world's best several times!

mød japanerne

Meet the Japanese.

You will meet the Japanese on KaizenTour. They are incredibly polite and helpful, but a foreign language is rarely their strong suit. They have been raised in a structured system that leaves very little room for individualism. It is essential to adhere to the norms and not lose face.

You will become wiser along the way – but probably never fully understand them. Nevertheless, it will provide you with insights to better understand Lean.

Video from the dojo: excerpt of the 5 principles for TPS workplace layout."

Seminars on KaizenTour

In order to meet the participants' wishes, some tours include mini-seminars to explore topics that cannot be immediately addressed during company visits, etc. These seminars are conducted by Japanese experts with English translation. Seminars typically last for 2 hours with presentations and discussions. Below are examples of seminars held:


Lean and innovation

A group wanted to focus on innovation and Lean. For them, we arranged a seminar with the person responsible for the development of Lexus at Toyota.

A practical insight into TPD- Toyota Production Development

asger Røjle christensen

Japan right now

Asger Røjle Christensen is probably the Dane who is most in tune with Japanese social conditions, etc. We have used him several times for a mini-seminar where he has provided an overview and insight into Japan right now.


Join a KaizenTour


We conduct KaizenTour every spring and autumn. We also arrange customized tours, and it is possible to join a KaizenTour where participants come from several countries.