When people think of visiting Japan, they think of beautiful temples, vivid shrines with green tiled roofs and vermilion painted woodwork, fascinating culture, and up-to-the-minute technology. What people tend to forget is that Japan also offers some absolutely top quality skiing, and that skiing doesn’t come much better than Rusutsu.
The largest resort of Japan’s northernmost island of Hokkaido, Rusutsu gets an average of 40 ft of dry powder snow, which makes it a real magnet for skiers in search of perfect snow. However the good news is that, recent reports of the skiing in this resort verify that the place does not get overcrowded, which is reassuring when we are talking about Japan, as, due to the high population, any place of interest to tourists can quickly fill up with a mass of people.
At 310 m above sea level, Rusutsu nestles close to three mountains, West Mountain, East Mountain, and Mount Izora, and offers thirty-seven ski courses, which cover a total length of 42km. The longest run is an impressive 3.5 km. West Mountain is the smallest, and so is good for those who are still on the nursery slopes. West Mountain also has a snowboard park, and night skiing. East Mountain is reached by gondola, and has some good novice and intermediate slopes. Mount Izora offers the most varied terrain, including some pretty severe gradients that are not for the faint hearted, and are strictly for the very experienced skiers.
The skiing season at Rusutsu runs from December to April, and for the non-skiers, the resort also has an amusement park.