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 for resort guests operates between Sapporo (how to get to Sapporo) and the resort. Reservations are required at least one day in advance.
From December to early April, 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 comapnies, with Donan Bus charging 2140 yen for the one way trip, while Hokkaido Access Network charges 3600 yen. Reservations are required.
From New Chitose Airport
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 2090 yen in case of Hokkaido Chuo Bus and Niseko Bus and 3600 yen in case of Hokkaido Access Network. Reservations are required. Most buses continue on to Niseko. Packages including lift tickets are available. Most of these buses operate only from December to early April.
During winter only, Donan Bus operates two buses per day between Rusutsu and the various ski resorts in Niseko. The one way trip takes 60-90 minutes and costs 1000 to 1200 yen one way. Reservations are required. Note that the buses which operate between New Chitose Airport and Niseko via Rusutsu cannot be used for travel between Rusutsu and Niseko.
From Lake Toya (Toyako)
Donan Bus operates buses 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. There are departures approximately every two hours throughout the year, and reservations are required.