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Guide to 7 Popular Niseko Ski Rental Shops With Covid-19 Countermeasures

Guide to 7 Popular Niseko Ski Rental Shops With Covid-19 Countermeasures

Date published: 28 December 2020
Last updated: 16 February 2021

During the 2020 to 2021 season, the spread of Covid-19 has resulted in some changes to the way ski rentals work in Japan.

We headed to Niseko ski rental shops that are wildly popular amongst skiers and snowboarders to find out how their rental plans work and what measures they are taking against Covid-19. The recommended lineup from each shop will be introduced.

Main image: Evgeniy Kazantsev / Shutterstock.com

Table of Contents
  1. Check information about rentals before heading for your ski holiday!
  2. 1. Niseko Sports: A lineup of Niseko ski rentals suited for the type of local snow
  3. 2. Niseko Village: A wide variety of items available for rentals
  4. 3. Sports Rent Ciao: The newest Niseko ski rental shop on the slopes
  5. 5. Grand Hirafu: Where you can rent Japanese brands and brands from Sapporo as well
  6. 6. Rhythm Niseko: Friendly staff who will recommend you your best gear
  7. 7. Yama Sport: Pick the most suitable gear for yourself from the best selection available

Check information about rentals before heading for your ski holiday!

Check information about rentals before heading for your ski holiday!

Niseko’s mountains are well known for their abundance of powder snow. The top-quality snow makes it excellent for enjoying skiing and snowboarding, and every year, visitors from all over the world gather here.

Following the winter trends at Niseko for ski and snowboard rentals, if you think, “since it’s just a rental, the standard gear should do fine,” it’s a huge mistake.

There are many types available to suit different levels and snow conditions, and there are many shops that carry the newest specs and best brands.

However, as part of measures to curb the spread of Covid-19, the rental of items with skin contact such as hats and gloves have been halted, and the variety of purchasable items has increased. Shops catering to the new changes have also started to appear starting from this season.

To prevent any problems when you arrive, check out what you need to rent and what items you cannot rent but must buy before heading down.

1. Niseko Sports: A lineup of Niseko ski rentals suited for the type of local snow

1. Niseko Sports: A lineup of Niseko ski rentals suited for the type of local snow

NISEKO SPORTS is a sports shop operating directly from the ski resort, Niseko HANAZONO Resort. It has been providing rentals for over 15 years.

With the goal of allowing guests to “enjoy the snow of Niseko fully,” the shop has stringent standards when picking equipment, and one of its draws is in how it makes recommendations for customers depending on their skill level and age, physical stature, and preferred gear.

Experienced staff holding S-B-B certifications for Alpine ski/binding/boots are available as well, so you can get your gear tuned for the best fit possible as well (reservations required).

There are four branches in the Niseko area, and it’s an authorized seller for many top brands from both within and outside Japan, and it also does rentals for the newest models as well.

Popular high-class brands amongst VIPs such as KJUS are available for rental. As the lineup differs from shop to shop, it’s best to check the range they carry online and visit the shop which has the gear you want.

Be it skis or snowboards, snow wear, accessories, or even portable shovels, you can kit yourself out for your intended purpose.

As snow wear that is rented out is sent for cleaning after being returned, there are ample measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

NISEKO SPORTS’ house brand, YAMA PLUS, carries snow wear and accessories designed to help you enjoy the mountains of Niseko. As these are products that you can only buy here, they make great souvenirs. They’ve started an online shop this year, too, so do check it out.

On top of this, NISEKO SPORTS is unique for having its own delivery service. For those who have rented equipment, free returns of the equipment to the shop (only available for NISEKO SPORTS Hirafu Zaka Store) from your lodgings are available, and the free exchange of rental items is available during the rental period as well.

Also, hot wax maintenance for your snowboard is available for free during the rental period. Though the staff can only give guidance in English, the website is available in Japanese, English, and Chinese, so do check it out.

  • NISEKO SPORTS Hanazono 308 Store
    NISEKO SPORTS  HANAZONO 308ストア
    • Address 328-36 Iwaobetsu, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0082
    • Phone number: 0136-23-0911 (NISEKO SPORTS Hanazono Store)
      Business hours: From December 5th, 2020 to April 11th, 2021, 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (HANAZONO308 store closes at 5:00 p.m.) Phone reception available from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
      Opens all year round

  • NISEKO SPORTS Park Hyatt Hanazono Store
    NISEKO SPORTS  パークハイアットストア
    • Address 328-47 Aza, Iwaobetsu, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0082
  • NISEKO SPORTS Hirafu Zaka Store
    NISEKO SPORTS  ひらふ坂ストア
    • Address 191-39 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0081
  • NISEKO SPORTS The Vale Store
    NISEKO SPORTS  ヴェールストア
    • Address 166-9 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0081

2. Niseko Village: A wide variety of items available for rentals

2. Niseko Village: A wide variety of items available for rentals

Niseko Village has four gear rental shops at hotels and gondola stations. Be it skis or snowboards, or snow wear, they have all the essential items in one place, allowing you to visit Niseko empty-handed while still getting to enjoy the snow and mountains.

The shop’s specialty is its enormous range of skis. Besides a wide variety of sizes, from normals skis to powder skis, carving skis, and all-mountain skis, there’s something for any ski terrain for a wide variety of experience levels.

Also, as the shop is a partner with brands such as Salomon, BURTON and PHENIX, you can rent popular gear too. When renting for multiple days, you can change your kit to suit the snow's condition that day, allowing you to make pleasant memories of your time at Niseko.

The staff are well-informed about the snows of Niseko, and they can introduce the best items to fit you depending on your level and the slope conditions.

To prevent the spread of Covid-19 this year, the rentals for hats, gloves, goggles, and other accessories with close skin contact are temporarily halted, but to make up for it, the variety of purchasable items has increased.

On top of this, snow wear is cleaned after every rental, and gear is thoroughly disinfected as part of measures against Covid-19.

The shop has signs and a website in English, and the staff speak English as well, making it an easy environment to discuss with the staff.

  • THE GREEN LEAF NISEKO VILLAGE
    ザ・グリーンリーフニセコビレッジ
    • Address 919-28 Aza Soga, Niseko-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, 048-1522
  • ヒノデヒルズ・ニセコビレッジ
    Hinode Hills Niseko Village
    • Address 919-28 Aza Soga, Niseko-cho, Abuta-gun, Hokkaido, 048-1522

    Vacancy search, reservation

    Check with our partner site as the latest rates, rate details, and guest room requirements may vary.

3. Sports Rent Ciao: The newest Niseko ski rental shop on the slopes

3. Sports Rent Ciao: The newest Niseko ski rental shop on the slopes

Sports Rental Ciao is a Niseko ski rental shop operating with Niseko Annupuri International Ski Resort. The reception is in the ski center house right in front of the ski slopes, and once you've rented your gear, you can exit straight on location to the slopes.

From beginners to experts, there is gear available suitable for people of all levels. In particular, there are a wide variety of snowboards and related items for rent, from models that are beginner-friendly, to boards that even experts will be satisfied using.

Besides these, there is an ample variety of ski boards, snowboards, and snow wear, and items for children are available as well, making it great for families to rent together as well.

When renting for several days, you can leave your rented equipment at the shop too, allowing you to head almost all the way to the ski slopes with your hands free.

The recommended brand is Finland's Halti. It's a brand well-loved by pro winter sports athletes, mountaineers, and adventurers. Their sportswear is made to stretch so that it fits your body properly, and has high functionality. Another reason to love it is its fashionable Scandinavian design

To prevent the spread of Covid-19 during the 2020 to 2021 season, the rental of small items such as hats, gloves, and helmets has been halted, and instead, you can buy these goods at reasonable prices in the shop.

The snow wear is disinfected and cleaned each time, and the gear is carefully disinfected as well, with staff members required to wear masks and have their temperatures taken, in line with the New Hokkaido Style rules to prevent infection.

Besides English-speaking staff, signs and price lists in the shops have English on them as well.

  • Sports Rent Ciao Nook Annupuri
    スポーツレントチャオ ヌックアンヌプリ店
    • Address 481 Niseko, Abuta District, Hokkaido 048-1511
    • Phone Number 0136-44-1515
    • Phone number: 0136-44-1515
      Business hours: From 5th December, 2020 to 5th May, 2021 (planned) 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (until 8:30 p.m. during nighters)
      Opens year round

5. Grand Hirafu: Where you can rent Japanese brands and brands from Sapporo as well

5. Grand Hirafu: Where you can rent Japanese brands and brands from Sapporo as well

Grand Hirafu operates with Niseko Mountain Resort, and has two Niseko ski rental shops, one next to the ski area's parking lot, and one at the mountain center where you can board gondolas.

Regardless of which shop you patronize, there are many models suitable for the powder snow of Niseko's mountains on display. Staff can help users pick the right equipment and snow wear according to their skill level and body shape.

The wide-open space where you can pick your own equipment is one of Grand Hirafu's draws. The rental shop is a two-story building, and the first floor has a changing room too.

You can rent equipment without bringing anything along with you, and immediately change into your gear, making it very convenient.

At the shop within the mountain center, you can find rare Japanese brands too.

For skiboards, there is the BLASTRACK, made for free rides by Ogasaka Ski, a shop with over a hundred years of history, as well as a local Niseko brand, Rokoski, both available for rent.

There are many snowboards for rent as well, and you can rent the pro boarder Takaharu Nakai model from the popular maker Salomon as well.

On top of this, snow wear by the Sapporo brand 43degree is available as well.

Gloves, snow wear, boots, and other items are available for rental like previous years.

For the 2020 to 2021 season, to prevent the spread of Covid-19, the rental of goggles has been stopped, though they are available for purchase.

At the shop, the wide variety of items available for sale range from reasonably priced pieces to high-grade items.

For those who are not comfortable with renting boots and snow wear, gauze inner layers are available free-of-charge upon request. The staff disinfect their hands and use masks as preventive measures while they welcome guests.

The store's website, shop signs, and price lists are available in two languages, Japanese and English. As staff who can speak English are available as well, feel free to discuss with the staff.

If you make your rental reservation via their website, there's a 10% discount, so do check it out for a special deal you can enjoy during your ski trip.

  • Niseko Grand HIRAFU Rentals Mountain Center Shop
    ニセコ グラン・ヒラフレンタル マウンテンセンター店
    • Address 204 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0081
    • Phone number: Mountain Center Shop, .Base Shop- 0136-21-5253 (Phone number shared by both shops)
      Business hours:
      Mountain Center Shop: From December 5th, 2020 to April 4th, 2021 - 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (last rental at 4:00 p.m.)
      .Base shop: From December 5th, 2020 to May 5th, 2021 - 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (last rental at 4:00 p.m.)
      During nighters, .Base shop closes at 8:30 p.m. (last rental at 7:00 p.m.
      Opens year round

  • Niseko Grand HIRAFU Rentals .Base Shop
    ニセコ グラン・ヒラフレンタル .Base店
    • Address 204 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0081
    • Phone number: Mountain Center Shop, .Base Shop- 0136-21-5253 (Phone number shared by both shops)
      Business hours:
      Mountain Center Shop: From December 5th, 2020 to April 4th, 2021 - 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (last rental at 4:00 p.m.)
      .Base shop: From December 5th, 2020 to May 5th, 2021 - 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (last rental at 4:00 p.m.)
      During nighters, .Base shop closes at 8:30 p.m. (last rental at 7:00 p.m.
      Opens year round

6. Rhythm Niseko: Friendly staff who will recommend you your best gear

6. Rhythm Niseko: Friendly staff who will recommend you your best gear

Rhythm Niseko is an outdoor goods and rental shop. Though you can buy outdoor goods for all seasons, their main products and goods are skis, snowboards, and other winter sporting goods.

There are usually two shops, the Main Street Shop and the .Base Shop, but for the 2020 to 2021 season, due to the effects of Covid-19, only the Main Street Shop will be operating.

The two-story shop has both boards and sports wear, along with accessories all lined up, but its real specialty is its selection of world-renowned and critically-acclaimed brands.

Amongst these brands is BURTON. The gear is targeted at people over a wide range of proficiency levels, and you can rent them at reasonable prices as well, allowing even beginners to try it out easily. Besides these, you can choose from other brands, including K2, ARCTERYX, and PICTURE.

The shop's best trait is its customer service. The staff love winter sports, and enjoy the mountains of Niseko as well, and you can easily discuss with them to find out their recommended slopes for various proficiency levels, and gear and goods for different types of snow.

The service is top-notch, with free gear exchange and storage, and besides tuning, there is transport to your hotel too. On top of this, they serve free coffee too, so do drink a cup of their specially brewed coffee before heading to the slopes.

All staff members can speak English, and net payment and credit cards are accepted as well.

As Covid-19 will be in circulation during the 2020 to 2021 season, many people will have to make changes to their vacations as the situation evolves.

At Rhythm Niseko, for the sake of customers who have to suddenly cancel their vacations, the cancellation charges will be waived this time.

Besides this, the shop staff wear masks and have their temperatures taken, as well as sanitize their hands regularly.

  • RHYTHM MAIN ST
    リズムメインストリート店ニセコ
    • Address 190-1 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0081
    • Phone number: Main Street Store: 0136-23-0164 
      Business hours: Main Street Store - From December 5th, 2020 to April 4th, 2021 - 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
      Opens year round

7. Yama Sport: Pick the most suitable gear for yourself from the best selection available

7. Yama Sport: Pick the most suitable gear for yourself from the best selection available

Yama Sport is a rental shop in the Hirafu area of Niseko with four branches. To prevent the spread of Covid-19 during the 2020 to 2021 season, only the Skye Niseko shop inside a hotel chain will be operating, but with its excellent product choice and attentive service, it's a shop that foreign visitors can easily trust. (The shop can only be used by hotel guests.)

Besides popular brands such as Salomon and ATOMIC, free-ski brands such as BlackCrows, and Gnu, which uses environmentally-friendly materials and the newest technology to make snowboards, amongst a whole host of other specialty, high-quality brands are available as well, allowing you to bring the brand of gear you're interested in up the mountains to enjoy

The English-speaking staff are very knowledgeable, and they give you helpful advice as well, allowing both beginners and pros to discuss options with them easily. Besides this, depending on personal suitability and snow conditions, you can change the models free of charge as well.

  • Skye Niseko
    ヤマスポート スカイニセコ店
    • Address 204-7 Yamada, Kutchan, Abuta District, Hokkaido 044-0081
    • Contact: rent@yamashortniseko.com
      Business hours: From December 19th, 2020 to March 7th, 2021 - 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; From March 8th to April 4th - 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 
      Opens year round

Niseko is a place where there are only shops dedicated to helping everyone make fond memories in the snow, from highly experienced people from the backcountry to absolute beginners at winter sports. As each shop has measures against Covid-19 in place, you can rent the gear out with peace of mind.

Now that you know each shop's specialties, please enjoy your time skiing in Niseko.

Text by: Minna no Kotobasha
* The information in this article is as of December 2020.

*This information is from the time of this article's publication.
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.

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