Buying ski/snowboard gear in Tokyo season 2017/2018

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Sandy, Oct 28, 2017.

  1. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    Strange summer, wet October, typhoons.
    I went to the Tokyo ski shop area today, and they are having the pre-season opening fair, on what I consider to be, maybe, a week earlier than usual.
    Kiosks line the street. They hand out resort info, along with some discount coupons.

    This means it's time for the annual thread Buying Ski/Snowboard gear in Tokyo for Season 2017/2018.

    All of the stores in the Tokyo ski shop area have moved their gear down to the ground floor.

    Alpen(a store which is not gone) was one of the only stores to have a good stock of ID One mogul skis, but there's a big range of ID One ski in the Victoria main store

    The AUD has been going up and sits since around April and has around 87 yen/AUD, so the gear in Japan is more attractive price wise, when compared to last year.

    London Sports outlet is the cheapest place in the whole area. They usually have budget, but quality brand skis, snowboards, boots downstairs, and clothes, goggles, hats, gloves upstairs. They also have brand name sports shoes and clothes.
    The problem this years is that the old store lease is up, and they've moved two door down in to the tiny location.

    However, I've gotten whispers from the shop staff that they "may" be opening a new store "nearby", not in the main street, but "around the corner". I will update the status when I have more info. Currently, they said the new store "may open on December 1st"


    Here are the maps to the ski shop area of Tokyo:






    The two best boot fitting shops are the Fuso ski boot shop ( One of 3 Fuso shops almost all in a row, starting about 20m west of London Sports), and the ICI Race shop.



    The cluster of Sakaiya stores northwest of Jimbocho Station:




    A good place to try for some bargains on goggles & gloves is Kandahar. Not marked on my map, but they have 3-4 shops along the street between ICI main store and ICI hiking & climbing store. The stores are located in a row, along the street where the "&" is on my map (starting from about the "g" in "hiking")

    K Village is still running..... it's located about 30-40m west of ICI hiking & climbing store. You can often find good deals on gloves & helmets.





    Also, if you take a walk down Meiji Dori (street) SE from Harajuku Station about 250m, then take a right down Takeshita St Meiji Dori (main crossing, & main road south between there and Shibuya station), you will see a number of ski/snowboard clothes shops. Go about 500m until the road bends left (as you see the JR railway line), then turn left, then left and double back on the parallel street (Cat Street). There are more shops along there, including a Burton shop.



    Have a look in London Sports first. It can be very cheap.
    Make sure you pick up the discount card first:


    Usually, you buy something, and they give you a card, but if you're quick, grab a card from the stack at the cashier, then plan your strategy. It gives you 10% off the already discounted prices. For around every 3000yen you spend, you get a stamp When you have 6 stamps, you can get a one off 20%. So best thing to do is to spend enough to fill 6 stamps in one or more purchases, then make one big purchase with your 20% off.

    ### See edit in bold.
     
    #1 Sandy, Oct 28, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2017
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  2. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    Burton shop in Omotesando is ridiculous $$$$ . It's in Cat street. Not Takeshita.

    There is a good BBQ place just up the road. With a coffee roastery.
    Recommend.
    https://www.tysons.jp/smokehouse/
     
  3. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local
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    ALL big brand stuff is expensive in Japan .
     
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  4. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    See edit. The street was Meiji Dori south, then the instruction to double back is along Cat Street.
     
  5. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    You have to catch the big brands at the right time and place. The time tends to be around now.
    e.g. Burton AK goretex pants 20,000yen.

    But I know what you mean. The North Face prices are absurd.

    Better value is Montbell... really good quality and reasonable prices. If you can find an outlet store, even better. Goretex snowsports jackets (as opposed to hiking/cycling) around 32,000yen, their own waterproof breathable(Dry-Tec) from around 23,000yen... sometimes 15-20% less in outlet stores.
     
  6. rikedwards

    rikedwards Hard Yards

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    Thanks @Sandy - looking with interest this year as I plan to buy the missus a new pair of ski's.

    Looking for a pair of Rossignol Sky 7's @ 98mm underfoot or like. Fingers crossed we can find a good deal!
     
  7. Fizaneo

    Fizaneo First Runs

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    nice post !
    however, im going straight to sapporo from early december and not stopping by tokyo. is there cheap snowboards in sapporo for sale?
     
  8. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    Yes.
    They'll bring out their last seasons stock and discount it.
     
  9. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    For the record. I found ski gear to be cheaper in Nagano (city) than in Tokyo.
    (london sports excepted)
     
  10. Fizaneo

    Fizaneo First Runs

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    thank you! thats good to hear.
    do you know any shops specifically that do these kind of sale?
    i am going in early dec, would it be late to still grab them ?
     
  11. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    You'll be fine.
    Google Murasaki sports
     
  12. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    I've found that some of the skis(quality brands of powder skis) in Sports Crew (Tokyo ski shop area) were cheaper than anywhere, including London Sports. Also, when you manage to hit the area about this time, you can get huge discounts on all sorts of good gear in various shops.
    For example, around this time, Fuso always seems to have a "below 9800yen" sale in some items including brand name waterproof breathable jackets and pants.

    However, to understand where things are cheap, you do need to do a bit of trawling, which I tend to do in the lead up to the snow season. Which is what prompted me to do these threads each year in the first place.

    Much of the new season gear is absurdly expensive in the Tokyo ski shop area, of course.... but this stuff often drops 24-35% by late February.

    I'll be providing updates regularly in the next couple of months.
     
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  13. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    Update on London Sports:
    As I mentioned previously, the old London Sports shop has closed, moving two doors up. It's very small!!
    The new shop is confirmed and will be about 40m down the lane abutting the old shop, in a building called "Kanda Terrace". It will be in the basement, and at this stage, it will open in mid December.
     
  14. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    Ok, so here are some photos.

    London sports used to be in the building just to the right of the lane. Looks like they will demolish that building, so they moved two doors up, as you can see. However, the new store is about 40m down the lane.


    Looks like this... Kanda Terrace. B1F:
     
  15. Jdn

    Jdn First Runs

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    Do these stores have top brand snowboards such as burton, lib tech, Solomon, ride, etc. And if so do you have any idea of the pricing of the boards, as well as bindings and boots in similar brands.
    Thanks
     
  16. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    They have every top brand. The new season boards seem to be expensive. It's the run out deals that can be cheap, but it depends what is still available by the time the winter Aussie crowds come in.... end of season deals start in late February,
    There are around 40 shops in the area, so it's not easy to know the price of everything.
     
  17. HoopDogg

    HoopDogg Hard Yards

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    What time do these stores usually open of a weekday?
     
  18. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    IIRC, London Sports opens at 9:30, some open at 10am, the rest at 11am. There may be one day when some are closed (often Monday), but open on public holidays, except for NYD. However, London Sports and Sports Crew were open last NYD. Sports Crew had a special NYD sale when some skis were only 9800yen, one day only.
     
  19. Jesse

    Jesse First Runs

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    Hey guys, I'm heading to Niseko for the season this year. I'm in Tokyo for a week before heading up north. I need to buy a whole new set of gear. (Pants, jacket, thermals, boots, google, clothes..the whole works) what kind of $$$ would I be looking at buying it all in Tokyo?
    Curr
     
  20. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local
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    Need more information Jesse! What exact gear? What sizes? Skiing or boarding?

    Your question is far too broad to answer, but yes you could most definitely get it all in Tokyo. You have a week, so plenty of time to shop around and get what you need. And it will most likely be much cheaper than buying in Australia.
     
  21. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    There is also the question of when... If it's the season in Niseko, and if you're heading into Tokyo in December, then there is more choice for good quality cheap gear. The new London Sports opens in mid December, and there will be more name brand bargains then, than a month later.

    In fact, in general, some people have said that there is not so much cheap gear in the ski shop area, but this may be a function of the arrival date.... I tend to shop there before NY(or a month earlier), an there's lots of good gear then.

    Ok, it means that sometimes there's not so much good cheap gear left if you come in around beginning of Feb.
     
  22. Jesse

    Jesse First Runs

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    Sorry guys, abit of a newbie at all the snow stuff. Not sure what I've got myself in for!
    Just average aussie mens sized gear. I plan on snowbording. I'll be in Tokyo in a couple of weeks then up to Niseko to work the season.
    Currently in Cambodia so no options to buy here!
     
  23. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    There is ski gear in Cambodia... I'll find out where... My dad has lived there for 20 odd years. The Burton factory is there..
    Ie clothes etc.
     
  24. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    When do you arrive in Tokyo?
     
  25. blowfin

    blowfin One of Us
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    You should be able to shop around and find exactly the board/bindings you're looking for, I picked up a brand new 2012/13 Ride snowboard and some 2012/13 Flow bindings on my trip in 2013. I think I paid around 80000 Yen all up. The board alone had a US$ RRP of around that price, so it was a good deal. Definitely worth buying your gear over there if you have the time to find what you want. The only issue is finding bigger sizes for boots, Japanese feet are typically quite small.
    Don't forget to take your passport as they'll need it to give you the duty free price!
     
  26. Jesse

    Jesse First Runs

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    I land on November 23rd then heading to Niseko on the 29th
     
  27. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    Ok there should be a bit of gear around, but London Sports may not have their winter gear in the old shop yet.
     
  28. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    I'll write a snowboard buying advice post when I have a keyboard.
     
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  29. H_Rollins

    H_Rollins First Runs

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    Hi,

    After some (hopefully) quick advice regarding buying a helmet for snowboarding. I can get an Anon Helo 2.0 helmet for ~100AUD (ie.~8500Y) online in Australia. I am a begginer/intermediate and only go 1-2 trips/year so not after a helmet with all the bells and whistles just something solid to offer extra protection.
    Will be in Tokyo in early January and will be going to ski street anyway. Would I be able to get a decent helmet for cheaper than what I've listed above and hence should I just get one in Tokyo?
    Thanks in advance
     
  30. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    Short answer no.
    Will be dearer and usually Asian sized.
     
  31. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    Yes, you can.... but that's a good price, so I'd just buy that.
    The selection of helmets in Japan has skyrocketed in the last few years. Where you had a small section with 12 helmets, now they have a big wall 30+.
    And there are all sizes. I've bought a number of helmets in Japan, and never had any problem. None of the ones I bought have had Asian fit on them (Asian fit are rounder and shorter front to back.
     
  32. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    Fair enough.. I also find Anon Burton more expensive in Japan because they lack global pricing like Australia has.
     
  33. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    Yes, you can.... but that's a good price, so I'd just buy that.
    The selection of helmets in Japan has skyrocketed in the last few years. Where you had a small section with 12 helmets, now they have a big wall 30+.
    And there are all sizes(S-XL). I've bought a number of helmets in Japan, and never had any problem. None of the ones I bought have had Asian fit on them (Asian fit are rounder and shorter front to back, but a lot of adjustment means that most of the helmets are just standard ones)
     
  34. Zimboo

    Zimboo A Local

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    I found and purchased a Giro Montane helmet (L) at London Sports last season (upstairs).
    Perfect fit for my anglo noggin. Was 10,000Y, then 10% disc........... total bargain.
    Must also say great helmet, so much lighter and more comfortable than my old one of several years.
    Edit: I wouldn't expect to find this deal each year, was just one of those things.
    They had about a dozen or those helmets in the corner of various sizes and colours, which left me with 2 to choose from.
     
  35. Hermannator

    Hermannator One of Us
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    +1 for Sport Crew (mentioned above).
    In general, if you can wait til new year, hold off til then. We have boxing day sales. Japan has NY sales.
     
  36. H_Rollins

    H_Rollins First Runs

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    Great, thanks for all the speedy replies. Will just get one online.
    Thanks again!
     
  37. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    Also, just one question: Did you try on that helmet, to see if it fits? Helmets can be quite individual, for different head shapes.
     
  38. reizen

    reizen First Runs

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    Thanks for this awesome resource. I'll be heading Tokyo first week January, then head Niseko a week later. Have you guys ever spotted Never Summer boards there? And I'm currently looking at getting the Burton Step On bindings, anyone seen it on the shops there already?
     
  39. globewanderer

    globewanderer Hard Yards

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    I'm currently in Japan and haven't seen them on shelves yet. Although they have them displayed. The first release have all been snapped up at both the Burton shop in Ometosando and various stores around Jimbocho. Speaking with the store managers, they mentioned more stock will be coming in so I would expect to see some around in January although the Japanese (and certain tourists with very large bank balances) generally get onto it pretty quickly. You may have better luck online.
     
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  40. reizen

    reizen First Runs

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    Thanks. But looks like even online, they're selling out fast.
     
  41. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    Better off buying in Australia.
    Burton is a Rort in Japan.
    Being a premium brand there.. Vs a middle tier brand here.
     
  42. globewanderer

    globewanderer Hard Yards

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    Yeah, Burton are in the midst of a massive marketing campaign to get boarders to switch back the the strapless bindings of yesteryears. They haven't fully gauged market demand for them yet so this season won't see a huge amount released. They will have more stock coming in throughout the winter though so even the online stores should get some more stock but the exact quantities are still a mystery. Good luck with the hunt.
     
  43. Jdn

    Jdn First Runs

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    How much would I expect to pay for a good set of goggles in these stores? Just looking for an estimate on something like oakley or anon. Thanks
     
  44. globewanderer

    globewanderer Hard Yards

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    That's a pretty open ended question since those brands have ranges from $125AUD to $350AUD (Approx). You can find some sales on last season's models so take 20-30% off the RRP. Most of the time prices are pretty much RRP then you take around 6.9% off for tax.
     
  45. Nozawaman

    Nozawaman A Local
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    From my experience goggles are a different fit here , and tax is 8% now .
     
  46. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    My two yen (re buying snowboard gear in Australia vs Tokyo/Japan).
    I've spent a bit of time in these shops....and i often trawl the shops in Jindy and sydney area...

    Simplistically Japan offers more choice, greater variety of brands and styles and a greater potential to save, however. It requires effort . You will need to spend time digging through the myriad of stuff . Usually merchandised really badly. Most stores in Tokyo are akin to army disposal type vibe.

    Boards. On the whole are cheaper in Japan. However i've found a few exceptions.Capita (kind of) Burton and anything from Quiksilver (ie lib tech, Gnu, Roxy) seem to be priced above their comparable in Australia. I think this is due to a more competitive wholesale arrangement in Australia vs Japan. Burton is also placed as a premium brand in Japan. Whereas in Australia it's had a repositioning over the last few years. However Rome, K2, Ride offer cheaper models, some of which seem to be made under licence just for Japan. (ie I got a Rome Cheap trick 156 for 22,000 yen). These brands also offer very well priced campaigns or sets. (board boots bindings). Especially for the girls market. The choice for women is much larger than in Australia. One thing i did find though is there is alot of sameness about the boards offered.(148-158 hybrid camber regular shape) Australia seems to offer a broader range of styles , yet less stock.
    Japan is also home to a bunch of brands you don't see in Aus, eg Kissmark, Yonex to name a couple, the Yonex boards look mint.

    Bindings- pretty much same price as Australia as a RRP. Just have bigger discounts on older (last years) stock.

    Boots- Bigger range in Japan...maybe a tad cheaper . Womens boots especially have a greater range of styles . Sizing for large mens obviously harder to find. Due to the large stock holding the shops seem to discount harder in Tokyo .

    Outerwear. Funny one. Some brands way cheaper , while other items seem to be priced astronomically (Burton AK i'm looking at you.). on the whole the shops in Japan are merchandised so badly you need to spend hours digging through the jackets and brands. Some of the fits are shocking as well. I have no idea how they'd fit a human. I'm a large/xl in some and if I spent an hour in one shop I would find a few garments worthy of buying. There are heaps of brands you won't have seen before. However , thats not a bad thing. Some of the " cool" shit is so overpriced its not funny. I saw a grenade printed raincoat that was 25,000. Cause Japan.

    Gloves , Helmets goggles etc. Gloves cheaper. Across the board. So much more choice as well. Some of the bargain bins full of gloves going cheap as. Helmets. Cheaper and better range in Australia (in June, helmets sell fast in Australia..so Feb is a bit different). Maybe thats reflective of helmet use between the two countries. Goggles. More choice in Japan. More cheaper options. Brands like Bolle, Poc etc seem cheaper in Japan. While Dragon, anon, electric etc seem dearer. I wonder if its because these brands are on the whole surf industry based?

    Thermals, beanies, sox etc. So much cheaper in Japan. These items are extortion in Australia (with the exception of Aldi).

    Overall snow shopping in Japan is fun. However its not a quick fix. You need to dedicate hours and trawl through a ton of stuff. Though good prices do exist. I had a friend buy in Febuary -Burton ladies boots, pants, gloves and a Poc helmet and goggles for 50,000 yen . Just by hunting around and looking for the bargains. We tried to shop in Sydney for boots the day before she left. Most shops having 3 or 4 styles of womens boots in her size. Whereas in Tokyo. It would be 25-30 styles of boots. All in stock.
     
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  47. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
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    I agree with most of this. I'll add that the price of new season skis (and boards) can be astronomical (I'm looking at you DPS), but if you're prepared to search around (as Donzah said) and get previous season's models, there are plenty of bargains.... mind you, there are less and less of the absolute gems as you approach mid January, pretty much until the end of season sales start in late Feb. I've seen some bargains in Burton boards (maybe that's changing), and I'll post some photos later today.

    Outwear. You need to try on all of it. They have two sizes: Regular western sizes and Japanese sizes, and you often can't tell until you try them on. And often the Japanese brands (but not always) will have a Japanese shape: Pants with slim fit and short legs. Slim fit jackets with short sleeves.
    It's true that Burton AK gear and The North Face are mega expensive, and Marmot, which were previously good value .... but bargains can be found. e.g. I found Burton AK 3 layer goretex pants for 20,000yen. Day packs by these brands can also be found for cheap (North Face for 5000yen)

    Helmets. They have exploded in Japan recently... huge range. Probably more because of fashion than protection, if I know the Japanese!!! ;) There are many brands that you don't see in Australia, and some are cheap.

    Goggles
    The tax was NEVER 6.9%. It was previously 5%, now 8%.
    The "Asian fit" are not quite as problematic as you might think. The only difference is that the foam around the nose is much thicker to block air coming in past a wider flatter Japanese nose. If you look at them carefully, some brands have obvious contoured foam that you can just trim off (e.g. Carrera). And there are a lot more smaller goggles. Prices. Some are hugely expensive, but you can find bargains. I've found Bolle (not common) for 5000yen, Carrera for 6000yen (polarised) and Oakley for 9000yen, but it's a search. Carrera are not that common (look in the Kandahar shops for bargains), they are generally sub 12,000yen. There's many, many Japanese brands, and also brands like Adidas. You can probably find bargains in that lot.
     
  48. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
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    I will also add I found the shops like xebio and sports depot in Nagano very competitive with their pricing and stock .
    Imagine a Rebel type store with a 1/5 of it dedicated to snow sports .

    One thing I did/do find odd. The prices in Hakuba for instance are astronomical/range small. The 2nd hand market for goods is super competitive.
    Yet a 45min drive into Nagano gives you a bunch of choices. Yet people seem reluctant to travel.
     
  49. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room
    Moderator Ski Pass - Gold

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    I don't know much about boards, but here's a few Burton Boards from last Sunday in the ski shop area, Sports Bomber:

     
  50. Donzah

    Donzah Part of the Furniture
    Ski Pass - Gold

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    Yeah they are last seasons .
    eg the descendant retails for $529 AUD (whereas in Japan its 50760 yen) so retail cheaper in Aus
    But the discounts are bigger ...you'd never see that board marked down that much in Aus.