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Rusutsu, known for having the largest ski slope in Hokkaido
What draws people to Rusutsu Resort is undoubtedly having the largest ski slope in Hokkaido. The ski slopes are vast, spanning 3 mountains, and the total combined course length is a whopping 42km! It’s impossible to enjoy this grand scale in just one day.
The course variation is extensive, with slopes covering beginners to experts. Even friends with different proficiency levels can all have a great time.
The gondola (cabin-type) lifts available for use are not only big - there are many of them, making it easy to move between courses. They are designed to prevent extreme congestion, and so that making connecting rides can be made at a comfortable distance. The ski lifts are also enclosed, offering great protection against the cold.
There are numerous hotel facilities within the resort including restaurants, hot springs, shops and a variety of leisure and recreation facilities. The level of attention to fine detail within the resort is considerable, and there are a host of rave reviews attesting to the fact that you can enjoy everything here.
All the elements necessary for an authentic ski resort are in operation, making it highly recommended for those skiing in Hokkaido for the first time.
Three areas where long rides are possible
Each slope is divided by mountain into 3 areas: “Isola”, “East” and “West”, and course features differ respectively.
Isola has the highest peak among Rusutsu’s 3 mountains, and its ski slope offers a spectacular view from the peak overlooking Lake Toya and Mount Yotei. Although its courses are somewhat more difficult overall, it has a good reputation for offering long rides for beginners and intermediate level skiers alike, given a little planning. There are also courses where you can make use of the fresh powder snow, which offer exciting experiences no matter how many times you ski them.
East is an extremely convenient area with the East Center Station connected directly to the Rusutsu Hotel. Both the length and width of courses on these slopes are perfectly suited for beginners to warm up on before skiing.
West is an attractive slope that offers numerous technical courses that make use of the natural terrain. Equipped with nighttime facilities, this is popular among those who want to ski after dark. “Side Country Park”, a course centered around weaving in between trees, is highly recommended. With a unique terrain formed by nature, quite an exhilarating skiing experience is on offer.
Accommodation options for every budget
There is an extensive array of accommodation facilities, so you can choose from a variety of plan options to suit your budget.
The luxurious option is the Westin Rusutsu Resort. All rooms boast 2 floors and a spacious area over 76 square meters, which can accommodate up to 7 guests. Not to mention the hotel’s fantastic location, with Hokkaido’s majestic natural beauty viewable from the large windows in each of the rooms. There is excellent access to surrounding restaurants, shops and hot springs, too.
The Rusutsu Resort Hotel & Convention offers a variety of room types to choose from, from reasonably-priced up to higher grade suites. What makes this hotel notable is its unmatched variety of offerings that can meet any accommodation needs, from families to couples and singles. There are also Japanese-style rooms available, in case you might want your suite to have an authentic Japanese flavor.
Log House & Cottage-type rooms are ideal for families. There are only 11 buildings within the resort, so they are on a first come first serve basis, however the unique atmosphere and warmth are extremely relaxing. There are also dog cottages available that allow guests to bring their dogs.
The Travel Lodge is recommended for those looking for decent accommodations on a budget. These rooms are reasonably priced with only the minimum necessities, and are perfect for those who want to maximize their ski experience rather than resort relaxation.
Relatively good access among Hokkaido ski resorts
Rusutsu has relatively good access from among the many ski resorts in Hokkaido, as there are direct buses from New Chitose Airport in Sapporo that arrive in just 2 hours. There are free shuttle buses for those staying at hotels in the resort, which is the common means of access to the resort.
It is also possible to drive for those who want to enjoy day trips, however at least 1 night’s stay is recommended to fully enjoy the enormous resort. If you really want to enjoy day trip skiing from Sapporo, another ski resort may be a better call. From the scale of the overall resort as well, Rusutsu is a ski resort suited to those who like to enjoy experiences out of the ordinary, in a relaxed fashion.
Be cautious of seasonal timing that may effect your overall experience
One possible disadvantage of the Rusutsu Resort is low snowfall due to the low elevation. Since the highest elevation is only 994 meters, there is often insufficient snow at the beginning of the season. Also, the quality of the snow deteriorates after the peak season toward late March.
If you want to enjoy optimum fresh powder conditions, aiming for late December to late February when there is steady snowfall is recommended. If you want to enjoy end-of-season or spring skiing, however, it is likely best to choose another ski resort.
Even with the low elevation, there are no issues with snow quality during the main season. Rest assured, during this season there is no difference with the top quality snow found in the heavy snowfall areas of Niseko and Tomamu!
Top summit resort that stands up to other ski resorts
That brings us to the end of our introduction to the Rusutsu Resort.
Even compared with other famous Hokkaido ski resorts, the scale is just overwhelming. These slopes are called Hokkaido’s Number 1 by many, and have been successful in accumulating loyal fans.
With all it has going for it, it’s easy to understand why Rusutsu Resort has accumulated so much popularity. Why not spend an enjoyable winter season on these incredible slopes?
Pricing information and schedule may not be up to date and are subject to change without notice. Please check before your trip.