Rusutsu4 out of 5 based on 18 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
World Nomads Travel Insurance
Daisetsu Backcountry Tour

Rusutsu Japan
Rusutsu Japan
Rusutsu is a fantastic powder skiing destination
Rusutsu is a fantastic powder skiing destination
The powder can be amazing!
The powder can be amazing!
The Rusutsu ski resort also has some great groomed runs
The Rusutsu ski resort also has some great groomed runs
Amazing backcountry behind the hotel
Amazing backcountry behind the hotel
The small Rusutsu village
The small Rusutsu village
The aptly named Rusutsu Tower Hotel
The aptly named Rusutsu Tower Hotel
The Rusutsu Resort Hotel is ski-in ski-out
The Rusutsu Resort Hotel is ski-in ski-out
The Rusutsu Resort Hotel has some fabulously kitsch decor
The Rusutsu Resort Hotel has some fabulously kitsch decor
It's like Disneyland inside the hotel
It's like Disneyland inside the hotel
Where else but Japan would there be a singing tree?
Where else but Japan would there be a singing tree?
Ski Rusutsu Japan
Ski Rusutsu Japan
Rusutsu is incredibly family oriented
Rusutsu is incredibly family oriented
Rusutsu Resort has indoor ski lessons for the little ones
Rusutsu Resort has indoor ski lessons for the little ones
Plenty of Fresh Tracks
Plenty of Fresh Tracks
Rusutsu Deep Powder
Rusutsu Deep Powder
Rusutsu Resort
Rusutsu Resort
More powder!
More powder!
Rusutsu Resort
Rusutsu Resort
Rusutsu Resort
Rusutsu Resort

Rusutsu

Rusutsu Resort Japan

Enter the Rusutsu white room! The Rusutsu Ski Resort in Hokkaido is absolute heaven for experienced powder hounds or powder hounds on their "L" plates. With an average annual snowfall of over 14 metres, the Rusutsu Resort has some of the most incredible powder and tree skiing to be found anywhere in the world. Frequently the powder is incredibly dry; you blast right through it with virtually no resistance. It's absolute bliss!

Rusutsu Hokkaido is great for a day trip from Niseko to experience some Japow nirvana, but it’s even better if you book a multi-day stay at Rusutsu.

Rusutsu Ski and Snowboard Terrain

The Rusutsu Ski Resort has great groomed piste for beginners and is very good for intermediates, but the highlight for powder hounds is the fantastic fall line tree skiing that can be easily accessed straight off the lifts and with minimal traversing (joy for snowboarders!). The great powder runs generally don't have steep pitches or drop-offs, so it's a great place to learn to ski or board powder or just revel in the joys of moving effortlessly through the abundant dry powder. You don't have to share the fresh lines with many others as the resort is generally uncrowded relative to nearby Niseko, and even on the weekends it's rare to see a lift line.

The lift infrastructure is very well developed so it's possible to stay warm whilst scoring plenty of vertical. Of the 18 lifts, four are gondolas and there are 6 fast quad chairs, 5 of which have hoods - very decadent!

Where is Rusutsu Resort? Rusutsu Resort is located 90 minutes southwest of Sapporo and only a 90 minute drive from the New Chitose International Airport. There are shuttle buses between Rusutsu and the New Chitose Airport, and between Rusutsu and the city of Sapporo (booking available from October onwards).

Niseko is only 30-40 minutes away from Rusutsu Ski Resort and there are a few ground transport operators between the two resorts, or you can get from Niseko to Rusutsu for the day as part of a guided tour.

Rusutsu Accommodation

The main Rusutsu accommodation consists of two large hotels. The Rusutsu Resort Hotel is conveniently ski-in ski-out, has a huge number of facilities, and is incredibly family friendly. The Rusutsu Tower Hotel (now called The Westin Rusutsu Resort) is a large glitzy hotel with extra spacious rooms. Other Rusutsu lodging options include cabins and pensions. See our Rusutsu accommodation page for more information.

NB You can look at Rusutsu accommodation availability here via these 3 links. Please note that many properties have not released rates or availability for the 2016-17 season as yet:

Family Friendly & Facilities

The Rusutsu Resort is a bazaar place that displays classical Japanese kitsch. As you enter the Rusutsu Resort Hotel you are faced with a bizarre singing tree, an antique merry-go-round, and many other features akin to Disneyland. The hotel also has dancing bears, a wave pool and games arcades. There is also a kids’ snow park with tubing, snow biking and other fun activities.

The resort comes complete with an outdoor amusement park with roller-coasters and a ferris wheel, but this is only open during summer!

Food and Nightlife

The Rusutsu hotels have an array of restaurants, and there are also various small traditional Japanese restaurants near the base of the mountain, so there is no shortage of dining options. Conversely, the nightlife options are somewhat lacking with only a few quiet bars. Rusutsu is certainly nothing like Niseko Hirafu! The best fun may be whatever you can make yourself with your duty free alcohol!

Summary of Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Amazing quality powder that falls in equally amazing quantities
  • Great off-piste and tree skiing (and it's not banned)
  • High quality lift infrastructure that will keep you toasty even on the very cold days
  • Rusutsu is less busy compared with Niseko
  • Rusutsu Japan is suitable for skiers and snowboarders of most abilities, and anyone who adores powder.
  • Rusutsu is very well suited to families as there are plenty of activities on offer at the resort for kids.
  • The ski-in ski-out Rusutsu Resort Hotel is very convenient.
  • Lots of English signs and lots of English speaking staff at the resort.
  • Powderhounds.com has given Rusutsu Resort “best ski resort in Japan” honours for the off-piste skiing, tree skiing, lift infrastructure, powder and overall. Wow that’s a lot of accolades!
  • The only proper heli skiing in Japan runs on the mountain adjacent to Rusutsu. Check out the Shiribetsu Heli Skiing packages.

Cons

  • The only rider Rusutsu doesn't cater well for is those looking for cliffs and white-knuckle steeps (as with most Japanese ski resorts).
  • No self-contained accommodation with a kitchen e.g. apartments
  • Quiet nightlife (as with most Japanese ski resorts)

Pro or Con Depending on Your Perspective

  • Rusutsu is very family friendly although they only offer private ski lessons in English and the child care staff don’t speak English.
  • Rusutsu comes with all the bells and whistles you’d expect of a world class resort, and rather than providing what westerners might perceive as a traditional Japanese culture, it offers a modern Japanese cultural experience and some classic Japanese kitsch!

Tours That May Include Rusutsu

Safari (Road Trip) Tours
Hokkaido Storm Chaser DETAILS
GUIDED STORM CHASING SAFARI
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Areas
From price based on twin-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not including 8% consumption tax.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,300 USD 2,300
Book and pay deposit prior to C.O.B. August 31st 2016 and get 10% off the advertised price.
EARLY BIRD SPECIAL - book by August 31 & get 10% off advertised price
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced
Chase the storms and access the deepest and best quality snow conditions on the day in the Niseko United area and Central Hokkaido's world famous deep dry powder.
More
Hokkaido Snow Tow DETAILS
HOSTED & SELF-GUIDED ADVENTURE
6 Nights | 7 Days | 5 Skiing | 5 Ski Areas
From price based on triple/quad-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,564 USD 1,564
Book and pay deposit prior to Aug 31 2016 and get 14.7% off advertised price
Book and pay deposit by 31st August and get early bird special of 14.7% off advertised price
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
Take the hassle out of organising your powder adventure to Hokkaido Japan next season by joining one of these great unguided tours. You still have the freedom to do your own thing at the ski areas but all of the logistics are taken care of.
More
Renaissance Rider (Nth & Sth Islands) DETAILS
GUIDED SKI & CULTURAL EXTRAVAGANZA
14 Day | 13 Nights | 8 Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy.
Base/invoice currency is in yen not inc 8% taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 3,956 USD 3,956
Book and pay deposit by Aug 31 2016 for 7% off advertised price
Book and pay deposit by Aug 31 and get 7% off advertised price
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
Immerse yourself in Japan's rich culture and ski powder up to your eyeballs at some of Japan's best destinations. Includes Kyoto & Tokyo tours & flight from Kyoto to Sapporo.
More
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Rusutsu here
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
Progression Packages - Niseko DETAILS
PROGRESSION TOURS - NISEKO
8-Day Package (with or without accommodation)
From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy on 7-night package.
Base/invoice currency is in CAD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,184
Ability: Beginner, Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced
Take your skiing & boarding to a new level whether it be on or off-piste, on the bumps, in deep powder or in the terrain park. Based in Niseko, Japan you will also have day trips to Rusutsu & Kiroro. The full package includes lift passes and deluxe accommodation plus guiding/coaching.
More
Powder Progression for Skiers DETAILS
GUIDED SKIER PROGRESSION TOUR
8 Days - Niseko + 3 Other Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,008 USD 2,008
Book and pay by June 30 to get 7.3% off advertised price
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced
Do you want to learn to ski deep powder and look like a pro? This tour focuses on helping you to develop your powder skiing skills whilst maintaining optimal fun. Includes day trips to Kiroro, Rusutsu & Moiwa
More
Powder Progression for Snowboarders DETAILS
SNOWBOARD PROGRESSION TOUR
8 Days - Niseko + 3 Other Ski Areas
From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,008 USD 2,008
Book and pay before June 30 to get 7.3% off advertised price.
Ability: Intermediate, Strong Intermediate, Advanced
Do you want to learn to ride deep powder and look like a pro? This tour focuses on helping you to develop your powder boarding skills whilst maintaining optimal fun. Includes day trips to Kiroro, Rusutsu & Moiwa
More
See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Rusutsu here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
Hokkaido - Honshu Expedition DETAILS
HOKKAIDO & HONSHU GUIDED BC TOUR
12 Nights | 11 Guided Ski Days
From price based on twin/triple-share.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 4,131
Ability: Advanced, Expert
This ADVANCED+ ski and snowboard tour starts with 4 days in the Southwest of Hokkaido and then heads south to Honshu where you will ski or ride some of Tohoku's epic hidden gems. The tour includes some ski touring / split boarding (or snow shoeing) but you don't necessarily need to have any experience in this area.
More
Honshu - Hokkaido Expedition DETAILS
HONSHU & HOKKAIDO GUIDED BC TOUR
12 Nights | 11 Guided Ski Days
From price based on twin/triple-share.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 4,131
Ability: Advanced, Expert
This ADVANCED+ ski and snowboard tour starts in Honshu where you will ski or ride some of Tohoku's epic hidden gems. It then heads to Hokkaido to ride its legendary powder. The tour includes some ski touring / split boarding (or snow shoeing) but you don't necessarily need any experience in this area.
More
The Powder Room DETAILS
CHICKS ONLY POWDER CHASING TOUR
8 Nights | 7 Guided Ski Days
From price based on twin/triple-share with breakfast.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 2,291
Ability: Advanced, Expert
Enter the powder room! This ADVANCED LADIES ONLY ski and snowboard tour starts in the NISEKO AREA then heads to CENTRAL HOKKAIDO and finishes around the SAPPORO ski areas. The tour includes some ski touring / split boarding (or snow shoeing) but you don't necessarily need any experience in this area.
More
See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Rusutsu here
Heli Skiing Tours
Shiribetsu-Dake Day Heliskiing DETAILS
DAY HELI SKIING NISEKO - 6 RUN PACKAGE
Includes Niseko pickup & lunch
From price based on 6-run heli ski day.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,341
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
At last, a Niseko heli skiing operation! Make this one of the best days of your life skiing Hokkaido's deep dry powder on a dormant volcano (next door to Rusutsu and not far from Niseko).
More
See all Heli Skiing tours that visit Rusutsu here
Cat Skiing Tours
Shimamaki Snowcat Adventures DETAILS
GUIDED CAT SKIING ADVENTURE (2 or 4 days)
Stay in a Traditional Japanese Inn Inc All Meals
From price based on triple share 2-day package.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,334 USD 1,334
Book by June 30 2016 and get 10% off advertised price
Book by June 30 2016 and get 10% off advertised price
Ability: Strong Intermediate, Advanced, Expert
This is the best Japan cat skiing! Departing from Niseko, the trip offers incredible snowcat accessed powder skiing & boarding, staying in a traditional coastal Japanese inn. Ride deep untracked powder all day, feast on Japanese cuisine and soak in the hotel's onsen in the evening.
More
See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Rusutsu here