Rusutsu Resort (ルスツ) is considered one of the best ski resorts in Hokkaido. It has a large ski area that covers three mountains, each having a variety of long runs with a good mix of groomed trails, great powder and tree runs. It is located close to Lake Toya (Toyako) and is just on the other side of Mount Yotei from Niseko.
At the base of the ski slopes stand two large hotels, the Rusutsu Resort Hotel and the highrise Westin Rusutsu Resort. Several small pensions can be found in the nearby town center of Rusutsu. Besides skiing, Rusutsu Resort offers numerous other attractions, including restaurants and shops, pool facilities and hot spring baths. Summer activities include golf and an amusement park with over 50 attractions, including eight roller coasters.
A free daily shuttle bus operates between Sapporo (how to get to Sapporo) and the resort during the ski season. Reservations are required by 3pm of the previous day.
During most of the ski season, Donan Bus and Hokkaido Access Network operate multiple buses daily between Sapporo and Rusutsu Resort. Buses continue on to Lake Toya (Donan Bus) and Niseko (Hokkaido Access Network). The fares are drastically different between the two companies, with Donan Bus charging 2140 yen (book online) for the one way trip, while Hokkaido Access Network charges 4500 yen. Reservations are required.
From New Chitose Airport
During most of the ski season, multiple bus companies, including Hokkaido Chuo Bus, Niseko Bus and Hokkaido Access Network operate buses between Sapporo's New Chitose Airport and Rusutsu. The one way trip takes about two hours and cost 2400 yen in case of Hokkaido Chuo Bus and Niseko Bus and 4500 yen in case of Hokkaido Access Network. Reservations are required. Most buses continue on to Niseko. Packages including lift tickets are available.
Donan Bus operates buses roughly every 2-3 hours between Rusutsu and Kutchan Station near Niseko around the year. The one way trip takes about one hour and costs 1000 yen. In past winters, a small number of buses also connected directly to Niseko's various ski slopes for 1100-1200 yen one way, but they do not run in 2023/2024. Note that ski buses operating between New Chitose Airport and Niseko via Rusutsu cannot be used for travel just between Rusutsu and Niseko.
From Lake Toya (Toyako)
Around the year, Donan Bus operates buses every 2-4 hours between Lake Toya and Sapporo which stop in Rusutsu along the way. The one way trip between Lake Toya and Rusutsu takes 45 minutes and costs 1170 yen. Reservations are required and can be made via Willer.