Food & Nightlife
One of the great things about the dining and nightlife at Rusutsu
is its laid-back atmosphere. For those who may have only stayed at Niseko, Rusutsu offers an opportunity to get greater exposure to a variety of Japanese culture. The people are very friendly and are always keen to try and communicate, even if the only word you have in common is "kanpai" – cheers!
There are a variety of restaurants at the Rusutsu hotels. If you’re staying in resort accommodation, dinner can be included in the accommodation package or you can pay as you go (which is recommended).
One of the main restaurants at the Rusutsu Resort Hotel
is the German Oktoberfest that features amazing western and Japanese buffet feasts for breakfast or dinner. The name “Oktoberfest” conjures up ideas of drunken lads chugging steins of beer, but it’s very family friendly, comes complete with dancing bears, and you’d be lucky to find beer.
At the Rusutsu Resort Hotel other restaurant options include an Italian restaurant, an izakaya and a few other Japanese restaurants. The Rusutsu Tower Hotel has further dining options, so there are plenty of upmarket eateries to choose from.
A few minutes walk from the Rusutsu Resort Hotel is a small “village” with several dining options. Restaurant East Village is located at the end of the izakaya strip, serving up reasonably simple fare such as fried chicken and other fried Japanese treats. It’s only open from 11am to 7pm.
Rodeo Drive is located in the “strip”, a bar and restaurant with only a few tables. It’s very cosy and full of character, and there are usually a few Japanese folk to mingle with. Fare includes tapas, pizza, pasta, sausage and a few Japanese items.
In the same area are four izakayas that provide a traditional Japanese experience and the food is very inexpensive.
If you are feeling super hungry you can head to the Lamp House in the Travel Lodge opposite the Rusutsu Resort Hotel. They serve up a range of meat sets including all-you-can-eat packages and all-you-can-drink sets.
Rusutsu has various options for informal dining. Daniel Street in the Rusutsu Resort Hotel has several food places including a pizzeria, a hamburger joint, ice-creamery and bakery.
The backpacker and school kids wing of the Rusutsu Resort Hotel has a large food court downstairs that is open from 10:30am to 7:30pm, providing lots of cheap eats for lunch or dinner.
Or if you want something really simple and cheap, head across the road from the resort to the 7-Eleven.
Rusutsu Nightlife & Bars
In complete contrast to Niseko nightlife
, Rusutsu is not a big party place. You might need to create your own night time fun in your room and rely on your duty free alcohol. Or thankfully alcohol from the convenience store is really cheap – go the Chu-His!
The “strip” has a few izakayas (the Japanese version of a bar that sells appetizers) that can become festive, Japanese style. Rodeo Drive opens at 4pm with happy hour and cheap drinks for 2 hours. It stays open until 2am and many of the hotel workers turn up late in the evening for a quiet drink.
The Rusutsu Resort Hotel has an upscale bar where you can perch for a sophisticated cocktail. Unfortunately you have to pay a cover charge to get in. For the tariff you’d expect to get a special hostess or something, but alas there are no hostesses!
Cricket Bar is the main drinking hole at the Rusutsu Resort Hotel. Foreigners tends to congregate in this little quiet sports bar to watch ski and snowboard movies. It opens up for lunch and then closes from 2:30pm and 5pm, so you can’t go there for an immediate après ski drink. Sometimes they have live music such as jazz, although I found this tended to just scare people away!