A Pioneering
Design Company

our mission is to explore and connect with the very best in japanese design and craftsmanship in order to create a fresh synergy with scandinavian design culture. we are the official sole distributor of sori yanagi design accessories outside japan and distributor of yamagiwa lighting design in europe.

gateway japan sees the parallels between japan’s long legacy and constant renewal of design talent and scandinavia’s design culture. both cultures share an obsession with functionality married to a deep respect for traditional craftsmanship. the result is design that looks to the past, present and future simultaneously.

we are dedicated to being the scandinavian gateway for unique Japanese design talents, launching unique ideas, projects and products onto new and appreciative markets. our gateway currently reaches more than 140 leading design retailers in europe and the united states. we are honered to work with iconic japanese designers and manufacturers like sori yanagi, yamagiwa lighting desing and toyo ito.





Design Philosophy

we believe that design should always enable and enhance function. design beyond aesthetics. design that improves everyday life with perfect tools. 

in Japan there is a simple expression for this design approach: YO-NO-BI, a combination of 'form' and 'function'. 

these three words embody the design culture shared between japan and our home, Scandinavia.

we believe that the world has a reservoir of great functional designs that work perfectly, generation after generation. why try to reinvent the classic water kettle or coffee cup if there is no significant improvement in function or material use?  why redesign perfection? we know that Japan is a treasure trove of this YONOBI design, still undiscovered by the western world. 

gateway japan places an emphasis on quality over quantity for all the products we select. the majority of our cherry-picked design objects are made by hand, employing traditional japanese techniques and craftsmanship. 

NO WASTE... in our products, nothing is left to chance. Everything is carefully considered in terms of environmental responsibility; from the simplicity of the actual design to the materials, packaging and distribution.






Japanese Craftsmanship

why production in japan? one word; quality. the design objects we pick are made to last for generations;  quality is intrinsic to this. japan has been called the 'land of the hands' for its exceptionally high standards of craftsmanship; ‘made in japan' is synonymous with reliably high product quality.

gateway japan works with some of the most skilled manufacturers in the east. the vast majority of our products are made in japan, many in small villages famous for their craftsmanship with iron, steel and other materials.

we value original production methods in objects where hand-craftsmanship makes a real difference to user experience and product quality. for example our classic sori yanagi water kettle is produced in niigata, north-west japan where 15 small workshops still supply each part, many of them hand-made. the black cutlery collection is lovingly hand-assembled by just two dedicated people. 

gateway japan is proud to collaborate with one of japan’s finest lighting manufacturers, the yamagiwa corporation. the company was first founded in 1923 with a lighting design division established in 1954 to handle special productions for american architect icon, frank lloyd-wright amongst others. unique development and production skills have made yamagiwa the preferred manufacturers for a plethora of famous designers including toyo ito, ross lovegrove, tokojin yoshioka, naoto fukasawa and ross lovegrove.