Leaders in bicycle components and fishing, Shimano is one of the most successful Japanese companies because they make top quality gear. As of 2005 they announced they mean business in the snowboard and binding boot market with the Accublade step in system. Ridden by many of the best Japanese backcountry boarders, including Niseko pro Tomoki Takaku, this is a quality step-in system that provides top level performance in deep powder or speed carving on the groomers. The boot integrated step in system acts almost like a ski boot, but you can adjust how much foot-roll you want to make them feel like strap bindings with the adjustable base plate bushings. Available for testing at the Moiwa Shimano Test centre, but you have to trek into Sapporo to buy them. Binding ¥32,000, and three boot styles at a reassuringly expensive ¥45,000-¥105,000 for the Flake GoreTex.