Inside Nikon's Hikari Glass factory
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Inside Nikon's Hikari Glass factory

Located about 375 miles north of Tokyo in the Akita Prefecture, the Hikari Glass factory is a special place. Opened back in the 1970s, Hikari Glass has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Nikon since 2004. If you shoot with Nikon lenses, the chances are good that they started life right here - as raw powdered glass.

The Akita Prefecture, home of Hikari Glass, lies around 375 miles north of Tokyo.

Nikon invited us to visit Hikari Glass following the CP+ 2018 show in Yokohama, and along with our friends Dave Etchells and William Brawley of Imaging Resource, we were among the first journalists ever allowed inside the facility. During our visit we saw virtually the entire process of glass-making, from raw powder to finished glass 'blanks', ready for shaping and polishing in Nikon's other facilities.

Click through this slideshow for a detailed look - please note that some areas of certain images are blurred at Nikon's request.