[UPDATE for 2017/18 Winter - Prices in this post are still current, so this remains a good value option.]
If you need ski rental or snowboard rental for your trip to Yuzawa this winter our current rental recommendation is Daishin Sports which is next to Yuzawa Kogen Ropeway on the main street in Yuzawa. Friendly staff, great value equipment, and they provide a door-to-door shuttle service between the station/your hotel and the resort.
If you would like to book their services we can make the arrangement for you, or you can get in touch with them through the contact page on their website. Their English might not be perfect so it may be best to keep it simple. All they really need to know are what time to pick you up and from where.
They have a couple of minibuses and a larger half-sized bus. Their transport usually has a yellow magnetic Daishin Sports sign (though this is written in Japanese.) If they are picking you up from Echigo-Yuzawa Station they usually get you from outside the West Exit.
Once you get to their shop they have lots of gear and will want to know what you need to rent, as well as what size shoe you take. Japanese shoe sizes are in centimeters, but if you don't know your Japanese size they have a conversion table there.
Ski set is skis, boots, and poles. Snowboard set is snowboard and boots. Wear set is ski jacket and pants. Full set is the ski or snowboard set, plus the wear set.
Their prices can be found on their website (though Japanese only at the moment). They are very reasonable and tend to be cheaper than rental shops at the resort, especially as they include the free shuttle service.
They are a popular service and are recommended by many hotels in the area.
You usually pay at the shop for the whole period for which you would like to rent. They accept cash or credit cards.
Possibly the biggest advantage of renting from Daishin is the free shuttle service. They will usually pick you up from your accommodation or Echigo-Yuzawa Station and bring you to their shop to get changed. From there they run you out to the resorts and often go as far as Kagura, or Ishiuchi Maruyama, and of course closer resorts like Iwappara and Gala Yuzawa are no problem. (If you are having ski lessons at GALA Yuzawa and are worried about the long rental queues there, booking your rental at Daishin is a great time-saving option. Get off at Echigo-Yuzawa Station and have Daishin pick you up from there.) They might take you further if it is not too busy.
You arrange a time to be picked up at the end of the day and their bus will meet you where it dropped you off. Their telephone number is on their equipment if for some reason you need to adjust that pick up time.
If you are renting for multiple days you can leave your boots overnight at the shop, or take them back to your hotel. If you are coming on a day trip to Yuzawa, or if you are heading to the slopes before you check-in, Daishin Sports will look after your luggage for you for the day.
Your hotel might do rental too, and often have deals for house guests, but it is definitely worth weighing up the benefit of the Daishin shuttle service. It is great to have your own VIP shuttle. Other ski rental options in Yuzawa are Benri (down by Nunoba), and Yuzawa Ski House (who are across the road from Daishin and Yuzawa Kogen). [It is worth noting that Yuzawa Ski House are happy to drive you to Maiko, which unfortunately is a little too far for Daishin.] Ski resorts all have their own rental shops too.
Let us know if you would like us to book you in for ski rental/snowboard rental for your winter trip to Yuzawa.