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 during the main seasons. 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 4000 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 4000 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.
Donan Bus operates buses roughly every two hours between Rusutsu and Kutchan Station near Niseko. The one way trip takes about one hour and costs 1030 yen. During regular winters, a small number of buses also connect directly to Niseko's various ski slopes for 1100 to 1200 yen one way; however, in 2020/2021 this bus line will not be operated. 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)
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.