If you are looking for local prices on rentals and gear purchases, check out the following stores in Sapporo (these are simply the stores I frequent on a regular basis here – this is not an endorsement in any way).
Because prices for outdoor gear in general are fairly country-specific, here are some rough reference prices for ski gear that I would consider to be ‘cheap’ at stores in Sapporo:
- Skis: Around 35,000yen (e.g., for a pair of last- or last-last-season K2 Waybacks) would be a pretty good find.
- Boots: Sometimes you might find a decent lightweight pair of touring boots (e.g., last season Dynafit Neo U) for around 45,000yen.
- Bindings: Bindings generally don’t get discounted. Expect around 35,000yen for a pair of Dynafit Speed Turns, 65,000yen for last-season G3 Ions. 40,000yen for a pair of frame touring bindings.
- Beacons: Beacons are generally quite expensive compared to overseas. E.g., a BCA Tracker 2 beacon will set you back around 45,000yen.
Note: Even if a store has an online shop, it is not always up to date.
- Paddle Club – Massive selection and a great place to pick up last season skis for eyewatering-ly cheap.
- BCMap at Ishii Sports – Massive selection of back-country skis and accessories (store link).
- Location: Near Soen Station on the JR line. Google Maps location.
- Shugakuso Outdoor Store – A good selection of ski gear, but their real strength is in their huge range of outdoor gear.
- Gear rental: Beacons (5,000yen for a week), ski touring skis (skis, tech bindings, skins for 2,000yen a day), etc. Gear rental link (Japanese): http://www.shugakuso.com/%E3%83%AC%E3%83%B3%E3%82%BF%E3%83%AB/. Their rental skis are essentially demo setups, so they have a very limited supply.
- Two locations: One near Hokkaido University (central Sapporo – location) and slightly larger one further out in Shiroishi (location).
The only place in Sapporo that I’ve found that has any selection of backcountry touring specific skis is the Second Street Outdoor store in Makomanai (location). It is a bit of a pain for access, but can have some OK deals. Generally speaking, however, there doesn’t seem to be a very big market for secondhand gear here, so prices are not markedly cheaper than last-season new stock.
For my own gear, I have bought it all via Yahoo Auctions. Last year I picked up a full touring setup (2009 Atomic Sugar Daddy skis, Dynafit Vertical FT bindings, Black Diamond skins, and Scarpa Maestrale boots) for 60,000yen. In the ski category (while choosing to search titles and descriptions), try the following searches:
Do you know of any good outdoor stores in Hokkaido (particularly outside of Sapporo City) that have a good selection of gear for backcountry skiing and exploring the winter outdoors? Please leave a comment below!