Hitting the slopes, Rusutsu
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Hitting the slopes, Rusutsu

© Creative Commons / Lou Springer

Rusutsu resort information & après-ski

Après-ski

Après-ski in Rusutsu is low-key. Visitors may like to start the evening with a visit to the traditional onsen (men and women shower and bathe separately in the communal volcanic pools, but they might then meet up in a mixed-sex thermal pool).

Alternatively, opt for a traditional Japanese tea ceremony in the Dolce tearoom, or visit one of the karaoke rooms for a bit of a knees-up.

There are half a dozen bars and night spots in the Rusutsu Resort Hotel, including the Obrist bar; or for sports events, check out the bar named after the one sport guests are unlikely to see played here, Cricket.

Eating out

Each of the 12 restaurants in Rusutsu is located within the large Rusutsu Resort Hotel building. However, the resort does manage to offer a great range of global cuisine, enabling guests on half-board deals to eat at a different establishment every night.

For traditional food from the local Hokkaido region, try Kazahana in the Rusutsu Tower. The restaurant specialises in Japanese cuisine made using fresh and natural ingredients. Kazahana also features a traditional Japanese Teppanyaki bar where you can watch the chef cook, serving up food straight from a large hot plate.

There are more options in the huge hotel’s north and south wings, including the Belle vue (South Wing), which offers a fusion of French and Hokkaido cuisine. Additionally, there’s Italian fare on offer in the Costa Terrazza (North Wing), a Scandinavian smorgasbord at the Viking Buffet in the Crescent Hall, and a Bavarian meat themed “Oktober Fest” restaurant, also located in the North Wing.

Resort Information

Beyond the slopes

Although Rusutsu is largely made up of one giant hotel complex, it’s a very well equipped facility with lots to do besides ski and board.

On the snow, there's cross-country skiing, snow rafting (riding down the slopes on large inflatable rafts), snow tubing, horse riding, orienteering, snowmobiling, and dog sledding to choose from.

Options in the warmth range from the chance to try traditional Japanese methods of bread baking to participating in a Japanese arts and crafts class. The giant Rusutsu Resort Hotel offers numerous indoor activities, including a gym, swimming pool with wave machine, amusement arcade, games room and a carousel ride. There is also an indoor bouldering wall for climbing practice.

No visit to Hokkaido is complete without a soak in a traditional Japanese onsen (hot-spring baths), which can be found in the resort.

Family fun

Rusutsu ski resort is a good choice for families due to the safe and convenient nature of the giant complex as well as its easy-to-ride lifts, high service standards, affordable dining and non-ski family fun activities.

Rusutsu’s ski school can provide group and private lessons for children aged four and above, who can then progress on to the numerous green runs when proficient.

The hotel has an indoor nursery for children up to six years old and there’s also a large leisure pool complex and games room for older kids.

Retail therapy

All of the shops in Rusutsu are within the hotel complex, concentrated in a central retail shopping centre. This manages to accommodate nearly 30 shops, so most needs can be met. A new ‘premium rentals’ store is the latest addition – selling and renting premium ski gear and equipment on site. Local products to look out for include wood and leather crafts.

Splashing out

A day trip to provincial capital Sapporo is a worthwhile outing and is relatively easy to reach by bus (although it's best to be accompanied by a Japanese speaker). The annual Sapporo Snow Festival (www.snowfes.com) sees the creation of amazing snow carvings the size of large buildings. This week-long event, which is usually held during the month of February, attracts visitors from around the world.

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Hotels

The Rusutsu Resort Hotel is the main - and in most respects only - option in terms of accommodation in Rusutsu, albeit with a number of options to suit different tastes and budgets within the giant complex. There are however, log cabins and other budget accommodation options available in the vicinity. Alternatively, it is also possible to stay in the nearby village and drive to the slopes.

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following price range

Luxury Moderate Cheap

The Rusutsu Resort Hotel

+81 136 463 111

This 4-star hotel can accommodate more than 2,000 guests and has a staggering range of facilities, from swimming pools to games rooms. The hotel’s accommodation is divided into three main sectors (the Rusutsu Tower, the complex’s fourth sector, is now under separate management): the North and South Wings both offer fairly conventional hotel rooms, while the third option offers Canadian-style log chalets.

13 Izumikawa, Rusutsu, Japan

The Westin Rusutsu Resort

+81 136 462 111

This 4-star hotel is the tower section of the huge complex, which has been taken over by international hotel operator Starwood and re-branded as a Westin for winter 2015/16. The Westin offers the most luxurious accommodation in the giant resort hotel, and still offers a superb selection of facilities.

133 Izumikawa, Rusutsu, Japan

Rustusu Log Houses

+81 136 463 111

The resort’s Log Houses are available to rent for larger groups of six to 24 people. They provide an interesting contrast to the giant hotel complex and are well equipped, snug, wooden buildings.

13 Izumikawa, Rusutsu, Japan

Rustusu Cottages

+81 136 463 111

These cosy stand-alone buildings sleep up to six guests and are built on earthquake proof pillars, allowing guests to sleep even more soundly. All of the cottages are ski-in/ski-out.

13 Izumikawa, Rusutsu, Japan

Highland Lodge

+81 136 463 111

Providing clean but functional western or Japanese-style rooms, the Highland Lodge is ideal for those looking for conveniently located budget accommodation.

13 Izumikawa, Rusutsu, Japan

Pension Lillet Husset

+81 136 463 676

A family-run guest house within walking distance of the lifts, Pension Lillet Husset is known for its wonderful hospitality and filling breakfasts.

144 Izumikawa, Abuta-gun, 048-1711, Rusutsu, Japan

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Luxury Moderate Cheap

Getting there and around

Getting there

Nearest airport: Sapporo New Chitose Airport (CTS).

Distance to resort: 100km (63 miles).

Driving time: 1 hour 30 minutes.

Getting around

As all facilities are concentrated within one large complex, all of which can be easily reached on foot; there is therefore no need for transportation between facilities.

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