Rusutsu Overview

Rusutsu lies just to the south of the iconic Mt Yotei only 79 km west of Sapporo and only an hour away from Niseko Hirafu. In recent years the resort has been gaining acclaim as a tree skiing Mecca that offers steep deep powder snow. Long perfectly groomed runs intertwine between ridges and valleys for those who like to remain on piste, whilst consistent fall lines take skiers through challenging natural terrain and heavily wooded trees for the back country enthusiasts. The Rusutsu ski resort is spread across three peaks; East Mountain, West Mountain and Mt. Isola. East Mountain is ideal for beginners and families. West Mountain houses the terrain park and half pipe whilst for us the pick of the three is Mt Isola with its extensive tree skiing and back country possibilities. Rusutsu resort functions all year with amusement parks, golf and nearby rafting tours being the order of the day in summer.

Accommodation and Food

The upscale fully serviced 2000 bed Rusutsu resort complex offers a full range of facilities, restaurants, shopping malls, entertainment complex, swimming and wave pool, spas, western pub the “cricket” and even houses a fully working ornate indoor merry-go-round for children. Accommodation in the complex is available at either the Resort Hotel or in Rusutsu Towers. Last season saw the first luxury self contained lodges and apartments being built next to the Rusutsu resort in the Shinsetsu estate. For the budget conscious travelers several inexpensive pensions operate around the resort. For guests staying outside the resort complex several small restaurants and eating options are available in addition to the local Seicomart convenience store which is the only grocery shopping option in the area.

Activities & Sightseeing

With rides like the ultra twister, the corkscrew and the free fall the Rusutsu resort amusement park is sure to thrill. The park houses no less than 8 roller coasters, 8 thrill rides and an assortment of other attractions for children of all ages. A water park complete with a lazy river pool encompassing a large wave pool is ideal to take advantage of the warm summer days. The amusement park operates from late April until late October. In winter the resort offers dog sledding, snow showing, a well designed cross country circuit and for children a large size kids park with magic carpet, 60m ice slide, toboggan course, an introductory downhill course and a gentle ski slope exclusively available for children in the park. For younger children the resort offers a day care centre staffed by qualified nursery teachers.

Getting There

International travelers should plan to arrive at Sapporo’s Chitose International airport. Numerous bus companies run regular services to and from Chitose and the city of Sapporo, stopping at Rusutsu. Although the airport is only 80 kilometres away, in winter the trip from Chitose to Rusutsu takes approximately two hours as it passes through spectacular undulating countryside, the highlight being the impressive Lake Shikotsu region. In summer we recommend hiring your own vehicle and driving. The journey only takes only 90 minutes from either Sapporo or Chitose to Rusutsu and as with most things in Japan the road is well maintained the entire way. For skiers who stay in Niseko in winter several tour companies operate day trips to Rusutsu with 40 seat buses.

Rusutsu Mountain Statistics

Peak 994 m
Snow Fall 14m
Base 310 m
 Beg 30%
 Int 40%
 Adv 30%

Rusutsu Mountain Statistics

Season Dates Late Nov – Mid Apr
Elevation 994m
Lifted Terrain 170ha
Lift Operating hours 0900-1700
Gondola Operating hours 0900-1700
Night Skiing 1600-2100
Beginner Terrain 30%
Intermediate Terrain 40%
Advanced Terrain 30%
Number of Lifts 7 Quads, 6 Twins
Number of Gondolas 4 Gondola s
Number of Ropeways 0
Ski Area 170ha
Highest Lifted point 994m
Rusutsu Resort Height 310m
Regional Airport Chitose is the best option
New Chitose Airport 2 hrs 30 min
Vertical Drop 684m
Longest Downhill Run 3500m
Average Snowfall 1400cm
Average Snow depth 204cm*
Steepest Slope 40 °
Ski Schools Several
Average Temperature (Feb) -8° Celsius*
* Based on February 2008
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