© Creative Commons / Lou Springer
Gondola cable cars:
Rusutsu's ski area is spread across three mountains. Skiing directly above the resort is available on West Mountain, while the majority of terrain is spread across the gondola-linked East Mountain and its lift-linked neighbour, Mount Isola, which together have about three-quarters of the 42km (26 miles) of runs.
There is skiing for all ability levels in Rusutsu ski resort and, in common with most major Japanese ski areas, all lifts are either chairlifts or gondolas.
Beginners, who can make use of English-language ski lessons, will find easy green trails close to the resort, but also runs to progress on to further away from the complex. Intermediates have most of the resort's terrain open to them, while advanced skiers and boarders should be pleased with more challenges than most Japanese ski areas offer.
Among the other options is tree skiing and a glut of off-piste terrain – in fact, Rusutsu has a reputation for untracked powder lasting longer than at other major Japanese ski area. There’s also a terrain park to explore for boarders and freestylers, while night skiing is a regular activity on West Mountain.
Thanks to its legendary snowfall, the ski season in Rusutsu is long and runs from early December until late April.