About Our Facilities
Lion’s two research bases in Japan are located in Hirai, Tokyo, and Odawara, Kanagawa. At these facilities, we engage in product development, incorporating consumer perspectives to enrich everyday living, as well as innovative technological development that is helping create the lifestyles of the future.
1. Research Bases
Hirai Research Laboratories
Located in the Hirai district of Edogawa-ku, Tokyo, the Hirai Research Laboratories carry out R&D related to health care and home care products as well as wide-ranging development of the technologies at the core of these products. The laboratories are organized around such concepts as external communication, understanding consumers, open labs, and environmental friendliness.
Odawara Research Laboratories
Located in Odawara City, Kanagawa, the center conducts research and development related to over-the-counter drugs and food with function claims as well as basic research in the area of oral science.
Facilities of Hirai Research Laboratories
This area provides information about Lion’s history, products and technologies for visitors from the industrial, academic and governmental bodies with which Lion works, such as research institutions and trading partners.
* Not open to the general public.
The biotope built on the roof of the laboratory building is part of Lion’s biodiversity conservation efforts. Modeled after the ecosystem of the nearby Kyunaka River, the biotope is planted with native plants. Rainwater is circulated through a stream in which killifish and other aquatic organisms live.
The fruits of these trees contain saponin, which acts as a surfactant. These trees have are planted at the Research and Development Headquarters, symbolizing the history of the soap and detergent manufacturing that goes back to Lion’s founding.
2. Bringing History to Life
The Oldest Surviving Autoclave in Japan
This autoclave (a high-pressure industrial fat and oil decomposer) was imported from Germany in 1910 to manufacture fatty acids, which were used as raw materials for soaps, as well as glycerin from vegetable oils and other ingredients. In operation until around 1950, the autoclave supported Lion in its early years. Designated Chemical Heritage Artifact No. 30 by the Chemical Society of Japan, the autoclave is preserved at Lion’s Research and Development Headquarters.