Rusutsu Ski Resort

Rusutsu Resort in Hokkaido is located 40 mins drive from Niseko, 90 mins from Sapporo Chitose Airport
Rusutsu Hokkaido averages 13m of dry powder each season & has some of the best tree skiing in Japan
The lift infrastructure at Rusutsu Ski Resort is exceptional
Many of Rusutsu's chair lifts are hooded and high-speed
Rusutsu Ski Resort has gondolas for access & to service some longer runs
The Rusutsu Resort Hotel is very child friendly
The Rusutsu Resort hotel is more like a theme park than a hotel...complete with merry-go-round
And what would a resort hotel be without a creepy talking tree
Singing bears at the Rusutsu Resort Hotel!
The two main Rusutsu hotels are connected via a mono-rail (of-course!)
Kids (7-14) group lessons are now available in English
If it is too cold outside there is an indoor training centre for the little ones
The main hotel (The Rusutsu Resort Hotel) on the East-side is ski-in/ski-out
Rusutsu accommodation includes a limited number of private ski-in/out cabins
The Westin Hotel (on the west-side) has a short lift at the back-door to access the slopes
The Rusutsu Westin is a little more classy than the Rusutsu Resort Hotel
The Rusutsu Resort Hotel also has an indoor wave pool & water slides
Rusutsu Ski Resort has night skiing in front of the Rusutsu Resort Hotel
There are a few little izakayas & bars just 5 mins walk from the Rusutsu Resort Hotel
The Rusutsu izakayas are cosy and a great change from the mass buffets on offer at the hotels

Rusutsu Ski Resort

Readers Ratings


Rusutsu4 out of 5 based on 21 reviews
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit

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 13 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.

Pros and Cons of Rusutsu Ski Resort

  • Amazing quality powder that falls in equally amazing quantities
  • Rusutsu Japan offers 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 lodging 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 and whilst they offer kids group lessons for ages 7- 14, others need to have a private ski lesson, and the child care staff only speak Japanese.
  • 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!
  • Rusutsu is accessible off the Epic Pass (from 19/20) which should make the place a whole lot busier.

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. The resort is generally uncrowded relative to nearby Niseko, and even on the weekends it's rare to see a lift line but fresh powder in-bounds is much harder to come by compared to years gone by.

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 July 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 pensions and houses. 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!
Tours That May Include Rusutsu

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

Southwest Solutions
7 Nights | 4 Guided Ski Days
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
This CUSTOMISABLE guided tour for your group 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).
Price p/p From price based on twin/triple-share based on group of 5 or 6 with 1 guide (per person).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,777
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Hokkaido Explorer Tour
12 Nights - 10 Ski Areas - 10 Days Skiing/Riding
Ability: Expert
Based in Niseko Hirafu then Furano then Otaru, chase the best conditions and snowfall in the side country at 7 of Hokkaido's best ski areas and lesser known ski areas including Niseko, Rusutsu, Moiwa, Furano, Asahidake, Kamui Links and Tomamu.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share option per person for group tour for 2019-20 season.
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,901
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Power Trip
8 Nights | 7 Days Guided Skiing
Ability: Expert
This is the ultimate powder hound tour for those who feel comfortable just going with the flow, doing some BC skinning to get the goods, and knowing that you will be skiing the best available POW on the day (and drinking the best Japanese beer or sake!).
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share option for 2019-20 season for feb group tour.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,093
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Rusutsu here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Niseko Freeride Tour
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Days Riding
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.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share option.
Base/invoice currency is in AUD inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,800
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Niseko Guided Day Tours
For PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY of up to 6 guests
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).
Price p/p From price based on a PER PERSON rate for PRIVATE group of 6 in peak season. Full price is 78,000 yen for group.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 122
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Otaru & Niseko Powder Chaser
7 Nights | 6 Days Chasing Powder
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
If you are on a budget but still want to ride all of the best spots around Niseko & Otaru then this package/tour is for you! Join as a solo traveller or small group or book the entire 7 spots!
Price p/p Price based on a bed in a shared room.
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,692
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Rusutsu here

Ski & Snowboard Camp Tours

Ultimate Early Season Camps
8 nights | 7 days | Cat Skiing, Avi Training
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.
Price p/p 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.
USD 1,965
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See all Ski & Snowboard Camp tours that visit Rusutsu here

Backcountry Skiing Tours

BDT Lift Assisted Backcountry Tours
Niseko Area | PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY | Min 2 Days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Join Black Diamond Tours for 1 day 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, Teine & Kokusai. Primarily lift accessed so minimal hiking.
Price p/p From price based on 1 day tour per person - 5 people in private group (lift tickets not included).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 141
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Backcountry Touring Day Trips
Niseko & Surrounding Areas | Private Groups Only
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 - 7 is also possible with a tail guide).
Price p/p From price based on PER PERSON for a PRIVATE GROUP of 5 guests.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 141
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BDT Guided BC Day Tours
Niseko Area | Shiribetsu & Yotei | Min 2 Days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Join Black Diamond Tours on an epic day (or days) of guided backcountry skiing or riding near Niseko. Ideal for private groups (or waiting list for group tours). Areas include Niseko backcountry areas, Shiribetsu, lower Mt Yotei or Yotei summit (weather pending).
Price p/p From price based on 1 day of guided backcountry skiing/riding per person (5 guests in your group e.g. 75,000 yen total).
Base/invoice currency is in JPY ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 141
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Rusutsu here

Heli Skiing Tours

Shiribetsu-Dake Day Heliskiing
Includes Niseko pickup & lunch
Ability: Advanced 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 (adjacent to Rusutsu and not far from Niseko).
Price p/p From price based on 6-run heli ski day 2019-20 rates.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,504
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See all Heli Skiing tours that visit Rusutsu here

Cat Skiing Tours

Shimamaki Snowcat Packages
Stay in Traditional Japanese Inn Inc All Meals
Ability: Advanced 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.
Price p/p Display price is based on 2 days + 2 nights per person for 2020 season (regular season)
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
*Display price may vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations
USD 1,650
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Niseko Cat Skiing Day Tours
Single Day Guided, Inc. Lunch
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.
Price p/p 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
USD 526
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Rusutsu here