Rusutsu - Reviews

Awesome Rusutsu

Scott
29/01/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Month Visited:
    January
We visited Rusutsu mid-January.
The piste on the three mountains are truly an intermediates paradise. I think most of the runs are over rated; that is some of the reds are greens and the groomed blacks are reds based on what I have skied in Canada. The piste was clear when we visited because most that visit Rusutsu do so for the tree skiing which is 5 star.
There are two main resort accommodations. The Westin which is a western style magnificent hotel that has everything you would need except a sports bar and culture. The Rusutsu Hotel is nice also but only has rooms catering up to 3 people. The Westin’s 2 story rooms are the biggest I have seen in any resort anywhere! There are some local ryokans which look good and cheap. Another option is the new private ski villas that are being built by foreigners 300M to the north. They look very classy and are listed on AirBNB and other websites. Most will house 2 families.
The rental gear is a bit pricy at the hotels as there is no competition. The rental shop near the 7-Eleven has closed down which is a shame.
We flew from Brisbane (1am departure) via Hong Kong into Sapporo with Cathay Pacific as the plane lands around 3pm giving time to get up the mountain the same day you leave.
The only thing lacking is nightlife and night time restaurants. There is a string of local Izakayas near the resort hotel but book two days in advance. Overall this mountain is awesome.

Great Day Trip

Blair
16/04/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    February
Rusutsu was a great day trip from Niseko. One of the best powder days of the trip. Off piste was easily accessible with many bowls to explore.

Getting a weather forecast or accurate snowfall report is impossible though

Best tree skiing in japan

Patrick nolan
18/02/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    February
Go here over niseko if it has snowed. You won't regret it. Less lines less wind. More fun.

endless pow

john williams
25/06/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    36-50
Rusutsu is fantastic for tree skiing lots of options accessed from the lift. Can find powder lots of pow 3 or 4 days after a storm. I spent 6 years at Beaver Creek CO and in 10 days skiing at rusutsu i skied some of the best powder ever.
Pros
No lift lines
Lots of pow
Tree skiing

Cons
Cost
Limited accommodation
Limited dining
Limited vertical
Limited expert terrain
Lack of nightlife and shopping

If you go on a ski holiday and only interested in skiing powder and don't care about shopping or nightlife the you will love Rusutsu. If you care more about nightlife and shopping go to Niseko. There is very limited lodging and restaurants, basically 1 hotel only.

POW-er to the People

Ka Pow
31/01/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
Like all Hokkaido and most Japanese ski resorts, they need constant POW to make them interesting. If the white stuff doesn't fall they become quite banal. We've be coming to Japan since the early noughties and late Jan 2015 was by far the worst for snowfalls and base. The crowds at Rusutsu have certainly increased since we were last here 9 years ago. Relatively busy by Hokkaido standards (there are lift lines on Sat & Sun). Tracks out and/or most lines are ruined very quickly nowadays.

Off piste, Rusutsu suffers from a common boarder and novice powder skier affliction ...an innate inability to ski the fall line. Great lines are spoiled by annoying and unnecessary traverse tracks.

Hokkaido tends to suffer more frequent warmer spells these days (global warming?)so don't be surprised by freeze thaw conditions. It rained on our last day and Australia Day was befittingly like skiing in Australia....gnarly hard packed rubbish.

Lift system is not bad but quite disconnected and inconvenient in places. The gondolas bottom stations (West Mtn) are badly positioned. One of the quads had a tendency to break down which closed off the "Heavenly" ski area a few times. The ski school meet point is an irritating walk to the nearest quad for kids (no group lessons available for competent kids by the way so this place is not suited for dumping kids on pow-days unless you like to lash on private). They have a tendency to close the West Mountain gondola if there aren't many folks so this limits the ability to get up high on this side (or observe Mt Yotei). The groomed run classifications are so wrong its not funny: Green = flat track; Red = Green and Black is Red. Double D is simply an ungroomed pitch (and these all track out immediately)

Pretty negative so far...right?! Don't be put off. This is a good place if it snows and stays cold enough. The groomers are great/ideal for riders (developing youngsters and old cruisers). Tree skiing is awesome when you get the POW. There is a fair amount of terrain between the ridges to explore. Other side and back-country isn't bad. There are different accommodation options. The hotel is fun (even if you're not staying there - wave pool, disney like kitsch). You get to ski powder through an outdoor amusement park (this was our run home this visit).

In summary it needs persistent frequent snowfalls it is renowned for to remain interesting especially if you are staying for more than 4-5 days. If you do catch the right snow, it can be epic (mind you so can most places!)

Awesome rusutsu

Guy M
22/01/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
Awesome 2 weeks jan 2015
Fresh tracks everyday all day even 3 days after snow
Snowed 9 days
Very friendly staff
Very cruisy patrol
Straight on lifts except for one Sunday
In the trees it's an independent rescue with charges
There are lots of tight trees runs read 1-2m spacing and several 20 foot drop offs
Days of only crossing our tracks in the trees
Yes the easy trees get charged a bit
Odd semi steep pitch but Great fall line skiing
Half was boot to knee deep
Snow quality good as colorado
Coming back

Great snowboarding but slowly becoming more popular

Josh
20/01/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    18-35
When i first started coming here years ago it seemed to be a little hidden gem but after the addition of day trips from niseko it seems to be getting more crowded so you have to wander further for untracked terrain.
Still an awesome little resort and super cheap to stay.

Rusutsu Resort Review

Mike
17/12/2014
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    12-17
Amazing powder - sometimes even the groomed runs are packed with powder
Uncrowded slopes
Extremely child friendly
Great for families, conferences and groups
Not much night life
I revisit every year
Memorable experience
Best ski resort in the world

9/10 :P luv it

The Word is Well and Truly Out

POWDERHOUNDS.COM
31/05/2014
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
A summary of our thoughts on the pros and cons of Rusutsu Japan are outlined on the overview page.

We’ve been to Rusutsu multiple times. We used to rate it as the number 1 Japanese ski resort for powder hounds due to the terrain, powder and lack of crowds going off-piste. The terrain and quality powder are still there, but like all good things, the word has got out and many more powder hunters are now heading there. There are still freshies to be found on a powder day past lunch time but you have to work for them much harder than you did in the past.

Rusutsu - not bad

Andy
21/05/2014
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    18-35
We stayed for ten nights at Rusutsu in early February 2014. The place is nice enough, if a little weird. They have a better terrain park than expected (not that we were there to ride it).

It is quiet, but there are still plenty of cheap places to eat, and you can go out for a few beers, although no serious apres.

The runs are definitely not steep, although there's plenty of fun hits around the resort. I would recommend it for families or beginner powder skiers as it gets a little boring after a while.
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