Rusutsu Resort has Hokkaido’s most expansive slopes, with 37 courses spread over three mountains. With this spread comes variety; there’s something for everyone, from novices and children to seasoned experts. Winter vacationers flock to Rusutsu for its top-quality snow, massive range of snow activities, and resort hotels. It’s also a convenient base for exploring the rest of Hokkaido, with Otaru, Sapporo, Lake Toya and Noboribetsu Onsen within easy reach.
Rusutsu is just 90 minutes by car from Sapporo’s New Chitose Airport and the winner of Japan’s Best Ski Resort at the World Ski Awards 2018. At the same event, the Westin Rusutsu won Japan’s Best Ski Hotel. Treat yourself to the perfect snow getaway in true resort fashion, with packages including lift passes and accommodation at one of the two hotels.
Rusutsu Resort’s 37 courses are spread out over three mountains. Since each of the three faces have different aspects, full closures are incredibly rare, even on the windiest days.
The trails are quite long, too — the Isola Grand course is the longest at 3.7 kilometers, followed by the 2.7-kilometer-long Heavenly View course and the 2.5-kilometer-long East Tignes course. The total length of 42 kilometers is the longest in Hokkaido.
Blessed with a cold, inland location, Rusutsu regularly gets large dumps of snow with a moisture content of under 5 percent. This is the pinnacle of the dry powder snow for which Japan is so famous.
Take full advantage of the prodigious snowfall in the ungroomed sidecountry park, with a range of natural features like wooden rails and pillow lines through the trees. Go outside the resort boundaries with a backcountry or heli-ski tour on Mt. Shiribetsu for even deeper, untouched runs. Advance reservations are recommended and schedules can change depending on weather.
Rusutsu offers plenty of ways to experience snow thrills beyond skiing and snowboarding, such as snowmobiling, snow biking and snow rafting. Visitors can also explore the winter landscape via dogsledding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and horseback riding, or relax on a frozen lake with ice fishing. There’s plenty to do for non-skiers or those who just want a bit of a break. Most snow activities are perfectly suited for kids, so families can enjoy the winter resort together.
In the rare case the weather isn’t cooperative for skiing, snowboarding or other snow activities, Rusutsu Resort’s hotels are packed with opportunities for indoor fun. Most noteworthy is Rusutsu’s two-story merry-go-round, one of the biggest in the world. Other hotel attractions include an indoor wave pool, bouldering walls, projection-mapping video displays, a shopping street and the Stardust Avenue area, illuminated by 250,000 glittering lights.
See the major sights of central and southern Hokkaido from a convenient base at Rusutsu. Rent a car to access the metropolitan center of Sapporo in 90 minutes, Otaru and its picturesque canals in 80 minutes, and the famous hot springs of Noboribetsu Onsen in 120 minutes. Alternatively, sightseeing taxi plans are available from Rusutsu.