Japan Study Mission

The Japan Study Mission is not orientated towards any specific kind of business or manufacturing. It is about understanding the philosophy which has created the Japanese culture and their extraordinary excellence. If we can understand what the Japanese think and why they think the way they do, we will have the secret formula to answer every question about how to build excellence into our life and organization. We will go to the source and visit a grade school which will give us a window into the early training of this amazing culture. We will also visit the Toyota Techno museum. This mind-blowing place will chart the entire history of the Toyota Production System, including the original workshop where Sakichi Toyoda developed his first automobile as well as the production of the circular loom. Along the way, we will visit Toyota and several of their top tier suppliers. Take the next step in your Lean journey with the following experts in Lean:

Paul Akers (host)
Entrepreneur, president of FastCap, author, speaker & Lean maniac.
Mami Takahashi (organizer)
A native of Japan; has traveled extensively throughout the world and was educated in the United States & Canada; is fluent in Japanese, English, and Korean; has organized Lean Study Missions in both Korea and Japan over the past 12+ years.
Mr Amezawa (speaker)
Former president and CEO of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Kentucky and vice president of Lexus.
Mr Yoshino (speaker)
Former leader of the original Toyota plant and head trainer of NUMMI union workers.
Mr Umemura (speaker)
President of Mifune, a Tier 2 Toyota supplier of metal stamping (we will be visiting Mifune on Thursday).


Monday: Travel to Nagoya, Japan
Tuesday: Free day to acclimate
Wednesday Dojo / Tsuda Elementary School / Isuzu Anjo / Mr. Yoshino discussion
Thursday: Kwanda Industries Toyota Techno Museum / Mifune / Mr. Umemura discussion
Friday: Fish Market / Sekisui Heim / Toyota Plant Tour / Mr. Amezawa Seminar
Saturday: Travel home
(subject to change)


If you are looking for the most amazing business learning experience, the Japan Study Group is a must. Three days completely change my vision on how to identify waste and deficiencies in our company. This is an experience like no other. It’s not what you will see, but how Paul will help you see it. Paul did an amazing job at demonstrating how really simple lean is. The Japan experience is great, however the Japan experience with a an amazing leader is off the charts.
Rick Egelin
Chief Executive Officer
Fireblast Global
Corona, CA

The study tour to Japan with Paul is truly transformative. You will recalibrate your thinking and never look at your company, your country or yourself them same way again. Jam packed, each and every minute, with value added tours, ideas and information. And, the new friends I made on the tour and the learning we shared with each other was fantastic. Also, a note to Paul. I hate to say this because I may want to go back to Japan on another tour with you some day, but I looked at some other groups that make Lean study trips to Japan and their prices are much higher. You definitely provide a great value for the cost. You could raise the price you charge and still give a great value. If you do raise your price, I want a discount on my next tour with you! Ha!
Best Regards,
Ashley Smith
Smith-Midland Corporation

If you don’t go, you won’t know! The Japan Study Mission was truly an experience of a lifetime. It defines Going to the Gemba in a capacity that can only be understood by using your big eyes and big ears. This trip is not for the dabblers, it’s for the bravest, thirsty few. Keeping up with Paul and his passion for showing lean will keep you on your toes! Grateful and appreciative of my Lean learning experience from the man himself!
Joelle Washburn
Office Manager
Walters & Wolf
Las Vegas, NV
Aspiring Lean Zealot

Press here to read all the testimonials.


Accommodations: Hilton Nagoya. Hilton Nagoya has a great gym, swimming pool and sauna. Gym is open 24 hours; pool is open 6:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. If any of you were interested in the Lean Health side of Paul’s life are welcome to join him in his workout every morning from 5:30 a.m.- 6:00 a.m and then join him afterward for breakfast where he will discuss healthy eating.

Food: Morning and evening meals will be at the Hilton Nagoya. They have a great buffet with very healthy selections…lots of fish and vegetables. Lunch will be on the road. Healthy snacks will also be provided.

Attire: Business casual.

Communication: WhatsApp will be the communication tool prior to and during the Japan Study Mission. So if you have not already done so, please download this App or order to be kept in the loop on all important details for this trip.

Travel: You are responsible for your own travel arrangements. Book your flights into Nagoya, Japan. The airport code for Nagoya is NGO. You will find the best flights stop over in Seoul Korea (ICH), Shanghai (PUD), Narita , Tokyo (NAT), or Haneda, Tokyo (HND). Paul recommends using the Skyscanner App to book your flight. It’s amazing. Do not make airline reservations until you receive the go ahead from Paul.

Bring: Headset (we will have headsets for you but think you’ll enjoy it more using the ones that you prefer and like).

Hashtag: Share your photographs and videos from the trip using #japanstudymission


  • Want to go to Japan?

  • Who should go?

  • Application Example

  • Google Earth Overview

  • Understanding Japan Tips

  • Catch the bus or train at Nagoya Airport

  • Catch the train at the Nagoya Airport

  • Catch the bus at the Nagoya Hilton

  • Catch the train at Nagoya Hilton to Nagoya Airport

  • Common Japanese words

  • How to order at Kura Sushi

Costs: $5,200 US (includes everything except airfare and transportation to and from Nagoya airport). Upon acceptance, mail or wire transfer $5,200 US to FastCap. Participation is limited to 17 per session and is first come, first serve based on the non-refundable payment.  Your position is not secure until 100% payment is received.

Application Process

Step 1: Every applicant is required to produce a 1-2 minute video stating why you want to go to Japan and why you should be accepted on the trip. The curious need not apply; only those who are serious about moving to the next level. Videos should be sent to Paul via WhatsApp (+13609413748) or email (paul@fastcap.com) for registration approval.

Step 2: After obtaining Paul’s approval, complete the registration form below.

Step 3: Submit payment.

Step 4: Install WhatsApp (if you have not already done so).

Step 5: Wait for Paul to give you the go ahead to purchase airline tickets.

Step 6: Watch videos in preparation for the trip.

    We will use WhatsApp for team communicate prior, during, and after the Japan Study Mission so everyone will need to install this App.
  • Make the check out to FastCap referencing "Japan Study Mission" and mail to:
    5016 Pacific Hwy
    Ferndale, Washington 98248

    Or to wire transfer payment, please contact Leanne Akers (360.961.3748 or leanne@fastcap.com).

Additional questions? Contact Paul via Voxer (paulakers or paul@fastcap.com) or WhatsApp (+13609413748).