Rusutsu Ski Resort - Hokkaido Japan

Published: 23rd September 2011
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Rusutu Ski Resort is the largest ski area in Hokkaido, Japan. But it is often overlooked as a destination to visit or go skiing in the winter months from large number of foreigners who visit the nearby town of Niseko. If you want to experience another powder destination while you are in Niseko or Sapporo, consider Rusutsu.

What to expect at Rusutsu Resort
When the snow is falling, Rusutsu can only be described as epic! The resort stretches over three mountains, West Mountain, East Mountain and Mt. Isola, and has 37 designated courses (if you have not skied or snowboarded in Japan before, a course is a ski run), which amounts to 170 hectares. But honestly, the courses should only be used to get back to the lifts as it is the off-piste skiing and snowboarding that is unique to Rusutsu and all skill levels are catered for within seconds of jumping off the chair. A great aspect about Rusutsu is when you pop out of the trees you're more than likely to find yourself back at a groomer being taken to the lift to do it all again.

A word of warning, if you duck ropes with warning signs at Rusutsu you could end up in a bad situation. There is plenty of off-piste areas available that are safe so do not let the lure of ducking the rope get better of you.

The Rusutsu Resort Hotel can be regarded as a modern Japanese hotel, but on occasions scary because of some of the features that make up the interior design of the resort.

Getting to Rusutsu Resort
Transportation to Rusutsu, if you live in Sapporo is very easy with many of the hotels that are serviced directly by bus. If you live in Niseko, Rusutsu achieve is not a problem that buses run to and from on a regular basis.

So why is Rusutsu Resort as not as popular as Niseko with foreign tourists?

Rusutsu is a popular holiday destination among the locals who live in the surrounding areas, day-trippers from Sapporo are a be a big part of the skiing population. The downside for Rusutsu is that the township is very limited in facilities and infrastructure outside the Resort and therefore it is not too attractive for multiple night stays for the budget traveller who does not want to stay in the resort hotel. Facilities are expanding and the number of pensions which are now available through travel agents is increasing, but the popular and convenient option is to base your holiday in Niseko and make a day trip or two when the snow is puking down.

Article by Bradley Davis, travel blogger, snowboarder and crochet Ninja. For more information on Rusutsu and Niseko, including accommodation in Niseko, visit Niseko Webzine.

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