Background Expert generalist practice (EGP) is increasingly being viewed as the defining expertise of generalist care. In Japan, several family doctors consider it important and relevant in the Japanese context. However, no study has examined Japanese family doctor educators’ perceptions of EGP. Aim To explore Japanese family doctor educators’ perceptions of EGP Design & setting A qualitative study among family doctor educators in Japan Method We conducted focus group interviews using a semi-structured interview guide following a short lecture on EGP. We adopted a qualitative description method and used the framework method to conduct thematic analysis. Results Participants included 17 family medicine trainers in Japan, including 11 directors and five associate directors of family medicine training programmes. The results suggested that the concept of EGP was important and applicable to primary care in Japan. Participants’ perceptions on EGP pertained to the following four areas: impact of EGP, triggers for EGP, enablers for EGP, and educational strategies for EGP. Conclusion The concept of EGP may be useful in clinical practice in Japan, especially in complex patient care. A clearer framework for or description of EGP, and of non-traditional methods such as ascetic practice and awareness of the self, were proposed as possible educational strategies.