Rusutsu4 out of 5 based on 19 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%

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
Westin Rusutsu Resort
Westin Rusutsu Resort
The Rusutsu Resort Hotel is ski-in ski-out
The Rusutsu Resort Hotel is ski-in ski-out
Shiribetsu Heli Skiing - click on the image for more info
Shiribetsu Heli Skiing - click on the image for more info
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
Heli skiing - click on the image for more info
Heli skiing - click on the image for more info
Heli skiing terrain - click on the image for more info
Heli skiing terrain - click on the image for more info
Rusutsu Resort
Rusutsu Resort
The powder out heli skiing - click on the image for more info
The powder out heli skiing - click on the image for more info

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 Westin Rusutsu Resort (formerly the Rusutsu Tower Hotel) 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.

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).
  • Negligible self-contained accommodation with a kitchen e.g. apartments
  • The hotel accommodation can be very expensive and the inexpensive accom is very popular so it can be hard to get into.
  • 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 Explorer Tour DETAILS
FULLY GUIDED & HOSTED TOUR
12 Nights - 10 Ski Areas - 10 Days Skiing/Riding
From price based on twin/double-share option per person for group tour for 2018-19 season.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 3,842 USD 3,842
Pay by 30 June for super early bird special
4% discount if you pay before June 30
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Based in Niseko Hirafu then Furano then Otaru, chase the best conditions and snowfall at 7 of Hokkaido's best ski areas and lesser known ski areas including Niseko, Rusutsu, Moiwa, Furano, Asahidake, Kamui Links, Mt Racey and Tomamu.
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Southwest Solutions DETAILS
NISEKO & SAPPORO POWDER CHASER
7 Nights | 4 Guided Ski Days
From price based on twin/triple-share based on group of 5 (per person).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,683
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
This CUSTOMISABLE guided tour can be based in or around the NISEKO area and is designed to CHASE THE BEST POWDER each day at NISEKO, RUSUTSU, KIRORO & MOIWA. The tour finishes with a couple of days chasing powder around Sapporo (TEINE & KOKUSAI).
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Power Trip DETAILS
GUIDED POWDER CHASING ADVENTURE
9 Days | 7 Days Guided Skiing
From price based on twin/double-share option for 2017-18 season.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 3,093
Ability: Expert
This is the ultimate powder hound tour for those who feel comfortable just going with the flow and knowing that you will be skiing the best available POW on the day (and drinking the best Japanese beer or sake!).
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Rusutsu here
Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours
Niseko Freeride Tour DETAILS
POWDER ADVENTURE
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Riding
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 1,656
To be eligible for this special price you must book & pay the required deposit by the last day of the promotion...no exceptions
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
This snowboarding tour takes in what many would argue are the best ski areas in Japan with a choice of up to 11 ski areas in the Niseko region. Home base is a nice hotel in Niseko so you have access to Niseko's vibrant nightlife. Have a guide to take you to the best powder stashes at each location.
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Niseko Guided Day Tours DETAILS
GUIDED DAY TRIPS IN/FROM NISEKO
For PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY of up to 6 guests
From price based on a PER PERSON rate for Niseko guided day tour for 2018-19 season (private groups only of 6 guests) in shoulder season.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
From 60,000 yen for a group. *Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 110
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
If you are in Niseko with a group, you can't go past a guided ski or snowboard day tour in Niseko or at one of the nearby ski areas (off-piste, sidecountry or backcountry). PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY of up to 6 guests (i.e. you cannot join a group).
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BDT Lift Assisted Backcountry Tours DETAILS
LIFT ASSISTED BACKOUNTRY TOURS
Niseko Area | PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY | Min 2 Days
From price based on 2 day tour per person - 5 people in private group (lift tickets not included). You cannot join a group on these tours.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 282
Deposit must be paid by the end of the promotional period to qualify for discounts
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Join Black Diamond Tours on 2 days of guided powder hunting in Niseko or one of the nearby resort or backcountry areas with your own PRIVATE GROUP. Areas include Niseko backbowls, Rusutsu, Kiroro, Tiene & Kokusai.
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Rusutsu here
Ski & Snowboard Camp Tours
Ultimate Early Season Camps DETAILS
EARLY SEASON TOUR
8 nights | 7 days | Cat Skiing, Avi Training
From price based on twin/double-share, 9-day package for 2018-19 season.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,965
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Beat the high season rates and crowds and get Japow earlier than the punters. Based in Niseko, you'll visit 4 ski resorts for lift accessed sidecountry, enjoy a day of cat skiing at Chisenupuri, receive 2 days of avalanche awareness training & get an intro to backcountry touring.
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See all Ski & Snowboard Camp tours that visit Rusutsu here
Backcountry Skiing Tours
Guided Tours DETAILS
GUIDED BACK/SIDE-COUNTRY DAY TOURS
Private & Mixed Group
price is per person per day (min 3 guests required for tour to operate)
base/invoice currency is in Japanese Yen
Prices include tax.
Price p/p
USD 188
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Niseko Black Snowsports offer lift-access backcountry & sidecountry guiding services for advanced to expert mixed & private groups around Niseko/Moiwa, Rusutsu & Kiroro. Book for your own private group tour or join a group.
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Niseko Xtreme Guided Day Tours DETAILS
GUIDED DAY TOURS IN / AROUND NISEKO AREA
For PRIVATE GROUPS only
From price based on private group of 6 people on a half-day Hidden Secrets In-Bound Resort Tour of Niseko.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 47
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Niseko Xtreme offers a variety of PRIVATE GROUP (max 6 per group) tours in and around the Niseko area. The tours range from in-bounds resort powder hunting to full blown backcountry touring. Destinations include Niseko, Rusutsu, Kiroro, Teine, Kokusai, Mt Yotei & more.
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Backcountry Touring Day Trips DETAILS
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY DAY TOURS
Niseko & Surrounding Areas | Private Groups Only
From price based on per person rate for a private group of 5 guests.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 130
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Ideal if you are staying in NISEKO and are looking for a guided BACKCOUNTRY day in or around Niseko. These day tours are specifically for those who are happy to earn their turns and are for private groups of 1 - 5 guests (but 6+ is also doable).
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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 2017-18 rates.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
Price p/p
USD 1,504
Ability: Strong Intermediate to 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).
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See all Heli Skiing tours that visit Rusutsu here
Cat Skiing Tours
Shimamaki Snowcat Packages DETAILS
GUIDED CAT SKIING ADVENTURE (2 or 4 days)
Stay in a Traditional Japanese Inn Inc All Meals
Display price is based on 2 days + 2 nights per person for 2019 season (regular season)
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
*Display price may vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations
Price p/p
USD 1,499
Ability: Strong Intermediate to 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.
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Niseko Cat Skiing Day Tours DETAILS
NISEKO DAY CAT SKIING
Single Day Guided, Inc. Lunch
From price is per person (min 4 persons required to operate)
Base/invoice currency is Japanese yen in taxes
*display price may vary slightly with fluctuations in currency
Price p/p
USD 526
Ability: Advanced to Expert
A day of awesome guided cat skiing near Niseko in backcountry terrain with some steep lines, technical trees, and pillows and mushrooms. The snowcat skiing is ideal for those craving bottomless untracked powder runs.
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Rusutsu here