Best Places to Stay in Rusutsu
Hokkaido’s largest stand-alone ski resort, Rusutsu offers big powder, fantastic skiing and snowboarding, and some excellent accommodation options. On this page you will find the following information:
Located 40-minutes to the east of Niseko, Rusutsu is often rated Hokkaido’s best ski resort. Spread across three small mountains – they really are small, each under 1000 metres – Rusutsu is a low-lying resort but one that receives a huge amount of snow each year, which thanks to its inland location is dry and light. Many people will tell you it’s blessed with Japan’s best powder and added to that, Rusutsu is Hokkaido’s largest standalone resort with around 210 hectares of terrain – with lots more accessible off-piste. A resort in every sense of the word, Rusutsu attracts even more visitors outside of winter with an outdoor amusement park – only operating in summer – and multiple large hotels catering well to foreign visitors, families and high-end market.
WHERE TO STAY IN RUSUTSU?
Rusutsu Ski Resort is the largest stand-alone resort in Hokkaido. Less-crowded than Niseko, Rusutsu also caters to the high-end market with large hotels including Rusutsu Resort Hotel, The Vale Rusutsu and Westin Rusutsu resort offering luxury accommodation and good services for families. All three of these hotels are conveniently located in close proximity to the ski fields with most of the resorts nightlife and dining limited to the admittedly excellent restaurants and bars inside the hotels.
Rusutsu also offers skiers and snowboarders a range of smaller lodges and high-end, self-contained chalets and houses – many of which are located around the large Lake Toya. There are some excellent options in this area including the expansive ‘Lakehouse at Toyako’ however it’s important to note the distance to the resort, with the aforementioned Lakehouse located 20KM / 30+ minutes drive from the resort. As such, should you wish to stay in this area it will be best to rent a car for the duration of your stay. For accommodation listings, see our ‘Rusutsu Ski Resort Area’ hotel page.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN OTHER HOKKAIDO RESORTS
Among the other major resorts in Hokkaido, the following four offer the best skiing and snowboarding, accommodation and dining options:
Each resort offers world-class powder and fantastic skiing and snowboarding with access to great backcountry. Niseko and Tomamu offer the best / high-end accommodation while Kiroro and Furano offer large hotels targeted at the Japanese market. Let’s start with the resort with the largest overall and most popular resort in Hokkaido:
NISEKO UNITED SKI RESORT
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Operating under the banner of ‘Niseko United’, Hokkaido’s best-known resort is in fact four connected resorts covered by an all-mountain pass. Accommodation is available in and around each of the four resorts with Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Village having the greatest range of options, followed by Niseko Annupuri and Niseko Hanazono. Niseko is without doubt Japan’s most international and high-end ski resort, attracting visitors from all over the world. For more information including accommodation listings, see our ‘Best Places to Stay in Niseko’ page.
KIRORO SKI RESORT
Kiroro Ski Resort is notably less-developed than Rusutsu, but still offers some excellent large hotels including The Sheraton Hokkaido Kiroro Resort, The Kiroro Tribute Hotel and Yu Kiroro. Much like Rusutsu, most of Kiroro’s nightlife and dining is located within these hotels. Away from these hotels Kiroro doesn’t offer much other accommodation or nightlife. For more information including accommodation listings, see our ‘Best Places to Stay in Kiroro’ page.
FURANO SKI RESORT
Highly-rated Furano Ski Resort is operated by the Prince Hotels group, with the resort featuring two large Prince Hotels. Both Prince Hotels offer a huge number of rooms, multiple restaurants, shops and in-house services including rental, ski schools and day-care. The hotels are targeted at the domestic market and cater well to families. In addition to the hotels, you will find a good number of smaller lodges and guesthouses dotted nearby the ski fields. For more information including accommodation listings, see our ‘Best Places to Stay in Furano’ page.
HOSHINO RESORTS TOMAMU
Hoshino Resorts Tomamu is another resort operated by a hotel group targeting the high-end market. While the resort itself is very good and receives excellent snow, Tomamu is very much designed for the market wanting a full ‘resort’ experience with everything revolving around two twin tower hotels – RISONARE Hotel and The Tower hotel. Both hotels offer high-end, spacious Western-style rooms, multiple restaurants, ski in/out convenience and full concierge services. For more information including accommodation listings, see our ‘Best Places to Stay in Tomamu’ page.
HOKKAIDO SKI RESORTS: THE STATS & FACTS
Blessed with the longest seasons in Japan and huge annual snowfall, the ski resorts of Hokkaido rank among the best in Asia and enjoy some of the best powder in the world. The combined resorts of Niseko United are the largest and most popular ski fields in Hokkaido, while nearby Rusutsu and Kiroro attract plenty of fans in their own right. Rounding things-out, Furano and Tomamu lie further inland and receive slightly less snow but that bit of extra distance from the coast only means the powder is even drier, with some people claiming these resorts enjoy the best powder in the world. Our ‘Hokkaido Ski Resorts’ page has you covered for everything you need to know about each – a great place to start when planning your next winter adventure in Hokkaido.
HOW TO GET TO THE RUSUTSU
Our ‘How to Get to the Hokkaido Ski Resorts’ page has everything you need to know about how to get to Rusutsu and Hokkaido’s most popular resorts – including bus, train and rental car information from New Chitose Airport, Asahikawa Airport and Sapporo.
JAPAN SKI RESORTS: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW
Did you know that the resorts of Hokkaido are just some of the hundreds spread throughout Japan? Needless to say, when you choose Japan for your winter getaway you are spoiled for choice! Our ‘Japan Ski Resorts’ page has everything you need to know to start planning your ski and snowboard adventure including: LATEST NEWS & DEALS, THE BEST RESORTS IN NAGANO & JAPAN, FAQs and of course OUR SKI PACKAGES, ACCOMMODATION, TRANSPORT & TOURS.