Rusutsu Ski Resort

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Rusutsu Ski Resort Japan
Rusutsu Ski Resort Japan
Rusutsu Resort Hokkaido
Rusutsu Resort Hokkaido
Rusutsu Resort Hotel is conveniently ski-in ski-out
Rusutsu Resort Hotel is conveniently ski-in ski-out
Rusutsu has great tree skiing
Rusutsu has great tree skiing
The Vale Rusutsu offers luxury condos
The Vale Rusutsu offers luxury condos
The amusement park is closed during winter
The amusement park is closed during winter
Rusutsu is a mini Disneyland
Rusutsu is a mini Disneyland
The Westin is a luxury hotel at Rusutsu Japan
The Westin is a luxury hotel at Rusutsu Japan
East Mountain fresh lines
East Mountain fresh lines
The Rusutsu snow is some of the best in Japan
The Rusutsu snow is some of the best in Japan
Rusutsu Resort Hotel
Rusutsu Resort Hotel
The Rusutsu Resort Hotel is a little crazy!
The Rusutsu Resort Hotel is a little crazy!
Kitsch Rusutsu!
Kitsch Rusutsu!
Rusutsu Ski Resort Hokkaido
Rusutsu Ski Resort Hokkaido
West Mountain has nice mellow terrain
West Mountain has nice mellow terrain
Rusutsu has some restaurants & bars outside the resort hotel
Rusutsu has some restaurants & bars outside the resort hotel
Rusutsu izakaya
Rusutsu izakaya
Powder skiing Rusutsu Japan
Powder skiing Rusutsu Japan
Rusutsu Resort Hotel
Rusutsu Resort Hotel
Snowboarding at Rusutsu Japan
Snowboarding at Rusutsu Japan

Rusutsu Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Rusutsu

Rusutsu4/527
Rusutsu4 out of 5 based on 27 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%

Rusutsu Resort Japan

The Rusutsu Ski Resort in Hokkaido is heaven for experienced powder hounds or powder hounds on their "L" plates. With an average annual snowfall of 13 to 14 metres, the Rusutsu Resort has some of the most incredible powder and tree skiing. Often 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

Pros 
  • The ski area has amazing quality powder that falls in equally amazing quantities.
  • Rusutsu Japan offers great lift-accessed tree skiing.
  • The Rusutsu ski resort has high quality lift infrastructure that will keep you toasty even on the very cold days.
  • It is a decent size for a Japanese ski resort.
  • The groomed intermediate runs are particularly good.
  • It is very well suited to families and there are plenty of activities on offer at the resort for kids.
  • There are a few ski-in ski-out hotel and condo options at Rusutsu.
  • The only proper heli skiing in Japan runs on the mountain adjacent to Rusutsu - Shiribetsu Heli Skiing.
Cons
  • The Rusutsu hotel and condo accommodation can be very expensive whilst the affordable lodging is very popular, so it can be hard to get into.
  • Dining, ski and snowboard rentals, and lift passes are expensive relative to many other Japanese ski resorts. Most lessons are in a private format, which adds to the cost.
  • The nightlife is subdued (as with most Japanese ski resorts).
Pro or Con Depending on Your Perspective
  • It is accessible on the Epic Pass which has made the place busier. Lift lines can be problematic and easy-access fresh powder doesn’t last long, but relative to Niseko and many high profile US ski resorts, it’s quiet.
  • Rusutsu Resort is very curated and comes with all the bells and whistles you’d expect of a world class resort. Rather than providing traditional Japanese culture, it offers a modern Japanese experience and some classic Japanese kitsch! It caters well to visitors that only want to speak English.

Rusutsu Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Powderhounds.com has given Rusutsu Resort “best ski resort in Japan” awards for the off-piste skiing, tree skiing, lift infrastructure, and powder. Wow that’s a lot of accolades!

Rusutsu Ski Resort has 820 hectares of skiable terrain spread across two very separate areas that are connected by a gondola. It has 37 courses, 18 lifts and a vertical of 594 metres (400-994m).

The Rusutsu Ski Resort has great groomed piste for beginners and is very good for intermediates, but the highlight for powder hounds is the tree skiing that is easily accessed off the lifts and with minimal traversing (joy for snowboarders!). Many 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 only rider the ski resort doesn't cater well for is those looking for white-knuckle steeps (as is the case with most Japanese ski resorts).

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

Rusutsu Snow

Rusutsu is bestowed with plenty of snow, with an average of 14 metres each season. The quality of the powder is usually excellent thanks to cold air masses from Siberia. Moisture is picked up from the Sea of Japan during storms and it has an ideal location close to the coast without being too close. Tucked in behind Mt Yotei, Rusutsu isn’t battered by the NW winds as much as some of the more coastal resorts and a little of the wetness of the snow is sucked out by the time it hits Rusutsu. Many of the slopes also have favourable aspects, which helps with the retention of the Rusutsu snow quality.

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 September onwards).

Niseko is only 30-40 minutes away from Rusutsu Ski Resort and there is a bus 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 and a luxury condo hotel. The Rusutsu Resort Hotel is conveniently ski-in ski-out, has a huge number of facilities, and is incredibly family friendly. The Vale Rusutsu is also ski-in ski-out and offers premium 1-4 bedroom suites and condos. The Westin Rusutsu Resort is a large glitzy hotel with very spacious rooms. Other Rusutsu lodging options include pensions and houses. See our Rusutsu accommodation page for more information.

Family Friendly

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.

Just don’t let the kids see the outdoor amusement park with its roller-coaster and ferris wheel, as this is only open during summer.

Food and Nightlife

The Rusutsu hotels have an array of resort restaurants that are buffet, set menu or a la carte, and all cater to those with a generous budget. There are also various small traditional Japanese restaurants near the base of the mountain. The nightlife options are somewhat lacking and there are 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

Japow Freedom Tour
HOKKAIDO CAMPER VAN TOUR
8 Nights | 7 Days Guiding
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Explore Hokkaido in a camper van with the support of your guide & get the maximum exponent of freedom to be in the right place at the right time. The itinerary is completely flexible depending on snow forecasts and your guide can show you the best Japow spots in lift-assisted freeriding zones
Price p/p Based on a group tour for 2025 with a group of 4 people
USD 3,229
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Hokkaido Fix
NISEKO, CENTRAL HOKKAIDO & SAPPORO
9 Days
Ability: Advanced to Expert
This CUSTOMISABLE guided backcountry tour starts in NISEKO & then heads to CENTRAL HOKKAIDO in pursuit of some of the deepest & driest snow on the planet. The tour finishes with a day chasing powder around Sapporo (TEINE & KOKUSAI).
Price p/p From price based on twin/triple-share based on group of 5 (per person) for 9 day trip for 2024-25 season.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 3,002
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Hokkaido Explorer Tour
FULLY GUIDED & HOSTED TOUR
12 Nights - 10 Ski Areas - 10 Days Skiing/Riding
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Chase the best conditions and snowfall in the side country at Hokkaido's best ski areas. Based in the city of Asahikawa, then Furano, Otaru & Niseko.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share option per person for last group tour for 2024-25 season.
Base/invoice currency is in Japanese yen inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 4,064
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See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Rusutsu here

Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area Tours

Otaru & Niseko Powder Chaser
HOSTED POWDER CHASING TOUR
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 5 spots! Share
Price p/p Price is per person based on a group of 2-5.
Base currency is Japanese Yen/invoice currency is AUD
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 2,244
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 Book by July 31 & take 10% off displayed prices
Niseko Guiding
GUIDING IN/FROM NISEKO or OTARU
For PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY of up to 5 guests
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
If you are in Niseko or Otaru with a group, a day or multiple days of guiding at Niseko or nearby ski areas will make sure you get to the powder stashes (off-piste, sidecountry or backcountry). PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY of up to 5 guests (i.e. you cannot join a group).
Price p/p From price based on a PER PERSON rate per day for PRIVATE group of 5 in peak season. Full price is 130,000 yen for group in peak season for 24/25.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 166
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BDT Lift Assisted Backcountry Tours
LIFT ASSISTED BACKOUNTRY TOURS
Niseko Area | PRIVATE GROUPS ONLY
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Join Black Diamond Tours for a day or more 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) for 24/25 season exclusive of tax.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 154
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See all Single-Base, Multi-Ski-Area tours that visit Rusutsu here

Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area Tours

Guided Photography Tours Rusutsu
GUIDED PHOTOGRAPHIC TOURS
Full Day Package | Private Groups Only
Ability: Beginner to Expert
Experience Rusutsu's world-famous powder snow and tree skiing with your guide and professional photographer. Incredible snow… great powder stashes… epic shots!! Private groups only of up to 5 in a group. Suited to all abilities. Share
Price p/p From price based on full day package per person in a private group of 5 in 2025 season. Total price for group is 140,000 yen.
base/invoice currency is JPY
Displayed price might vary slightly from actual due to exchange rate fluctuations
USD 179
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 Book by July 31 & take 10% off advertised prices
See all Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area tours that visit Rusutsu here

Backcountry Skiing Tours

Niseko Zen Guided Day Tours
GUIDED DAY TOURS IN / AROUND NISEKO AREA
For PRIVATE GROUPS only
Ability: Strong Intermediate to Expert
Niseko Zen offers a variety of PRIVATE GROUP (max 4 per group for touring or 5 per group for lift access backcountry) tours in and around the Niseko area and Rusutsu. The tours range from in-bounds resort powder hunting to full blown backcountry touring.
Price p/p From price based on private group of 4 people on a full-day "Lift-Accessed" backcountry tour of Niseko in 23/24 season.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 168
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Backcountry Touring Day Trips
GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY DAY TOURS
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 in main season.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 186
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BDT Guided BC Day Tours
PRIVATE GUIDED BACKCOUNTRY TOURS
Niseko Area | Shiribetsu & Yotei
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. 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. 120,000 yen total) for 2025 season ex taxes.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY ex taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 154
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See all Backcountry Skiing tours that visit Rusutsu here

Heli Skiing Tours

Shiribetsu-Dake Day Heliskiing
DAY HELI SKIING RUSUTSU - 6 RUN PACKAGE
Includes Niseko pickup & lunch
Ability: Advanced to Expert
A heli skiing operation near Rusutsu & Niseko. 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 2023 rates.
Base/invoice currency is in JPY in taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
USD 1,178
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See all Heli Skiing tours that visit Rusutsu here

Cat Skiing Tours

Niseko Cat Skiing Day Tours
NISEKO DAY CAT SKIING
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 for 24/25 season (min 4 persons required to operate)
Base/invoice currency is Japanese yen in taxes
*display price may vary slightly with fluctuations in currency
USD 608
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Shimamaki Snowcat Packages
GUIDED CAT SKIING ADVENTURE (2, 3 or 4 days)
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 for group trip for 2025 season (regular season) ex 10% tax
Base/invoice currency is Japanese Yen
*Display price may vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations
USD 1,818
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See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Rusutsu here
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