Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Lean Tour Blog Day 1: One of our Japan Lean Tour Participants has posted this great summary of Day 1

We wrapped up day 1 of our Lean Tour with dinner and libations at Gonpachi which is a Japanese restaurant located in Ginza. The "male fish organs" in the first course were a bit intimidating for some but the meal continued more favorably and ended on a high note with everyone agreeing it was an excellent spread overall.

We started our day at the Nissan Oppama Plant. After a quick stop at a nearby "pit stop" to marvel at the selection of vending machines we arrived at Nissan and were warmly welcomed by our guide. The tour was very impressive. The constant, seemingly effortless flow, automated "trains" driving around and the obvious attention to employee safety and comfort was admirable and I've never quite seen anything like it. We learned about the Nissan Production Way (NPW) in a video after we had toured the general assembly, trim and chassis, final inspection areas, as well as the shipping docks.

After we left (and waved profusely) we were treated to a Buffet lunch at the Nikko Kawasaki Hotel's "Natura" buffet. We also had a rehearsal for our flash mob....it was amusing to see that pretty much no one stopped or even showed much interest in our antics.

Our last stop before dinner was a couple of hours at Sensoji Temple in Asakusa. We visited the sanctuary and then hit the market for some shopping. I managed to score the Hello Kitty chopsticks my 3 year old had requested so I personally felt the trip was extremely worthwhile.

Overall, I feel like the first day was a huge success and a great introduction to Tokyo and Lean in Japan. I'm excited to see what tomorrow brings as we venture to Toyota Logistics & Forklift Customer Service Centre and the Kirin Beer Village.

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