The High-Contrast Coronographic Imager for Adaptive Optics (HiCIAO), is a coronographic simultaneous differential imager for the new 188-actuator AO system at the Subaru Telescope Nasmyth focus. It is designed primarily to search for faint companions, brown dwarves and young giant planets around nearby stars, but will also allow observations of disks around young stars and of emission line regions near other bright central sources. HiCIAO will work in conjunction with the new Subaru Telescope 188-actuator adaptive optics system. It is designed as a flexible, experimental instrument that will grow from the initial, simple coronographic system into more complex, innovative optics as these technologies become available. The main component of HiCIAO is an infrared camera optimized for spectral simultaneous differential imaging that uses a Teledyne 2.5 μm HAWAII-2RG detector array operated by a Sidecar ASIC. This paper reports on the assembly, testing, and "first light" observations at the Subaru Telescope.© (2008) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.