Itinerary for Mike & Friends Hokkaido Adventure 2020
Day 1: Arrive at Sapporo's New Chitose Airport (CTS)
We will be waiting for you in the arrivals hall and we will have 4WD vans for the group.
We will drive straight to Rusutsu Resort after meeting at CTS airport and stay in the Westin Rusutsu Tower Hotel or the North & South Wing Hotel - each room will be double occupancy.
About Rusutsu Resort:
Rusutsu Resort is a large ski resort complex on Hokkaido that is made up of 2 hotels and 3 lift-serviced peaks. The Rusutsu Resort North and South Wing hotel is connected by a monorail to the Westin Rusutsu Tower hotel. Both hotels were originally owned by Kamori Kanko until the Westin purchased the all-suite tower hotel in 2015 and rebranded the rooms in 2016.
Rusutsu itself is located an easy 90 minutes from Sapporo, the population hub of Hokkaido and scene of the 1972 Winter Olympics. Rusutsu is easy to get to and it's large and modern, but it lacks the international reputation or the village layout of neighboring Niseko. This keeps the crowds down and the snow pristine. In traditional Japanese style, there is a lot happening at Rusutsu and it's impossible to feel bored there.
Rusutsu Resort was one of the first Japanese ski areas we visited in 2011, and we have returned every year since. Below is a video series we made for them a few years ago but still gives you a great idea of what the place is like:
Activity Options - The Rusutsu campus is filled with activities and if you have any energy leftover following your day skiing, or for some weird reason it didn't snow a few feet overnight then you can have your pick from: dog-sledding, snow rafting, snowshoeing, sledding or exploring the snow-covered amusement park. If you prefer an indoor activity, you can tour the bars, restaurants, shops, sensory overload arcade, merry-go-round (within an indoor village), onsen (Japanese hot bath), pool, water slide, wavepool, gym, more restaurants, another onsen, singing wax tree, and whatever else you happen to find inside this sprawling complex. Then retreat to your room and wait for the snow to fall again because it's never long between storms.
Day 2 - 5: Stay 4 nights at Rusutsu Resort in the Wesitn Tower Hotel, including breakfast, and dinner
Day 5: We drive to Sapporo and stay in the downtown Sapporo area.
We can stay and ski at Rusutsu this day and then head to Sapporo in the afternoon or we can leave in the morning and ski at a local Sapporo ski area. Or, if we are in need of a rest day, we can drive directly to Sapporo and do city things.
In Sapporo we eat ramen and explore. Sapporo is an awesome city.
Day 5 - 7: Stay in Downtown Sapporo, in double occupancy rooms, with breakfast included.
Ski the local ski areas during the day and do the Sapporo things at night.
There are 2 great local ski areas about 45 minutes from downtown.
Below is a video we made for the Sapporo Teine ski area (one of the two best local Sapporo mountains).
Day 7: Drive to Yubari Resort.
About Yubari Resort:
Yubari is the closest ski area to the Hokkaido's main New Chitose Airport (CTS). It is still an hour away, but this undiscovered little mountain has some Japanese charm and is in a town with a story to tell. Yubari was once Japan's coal capital and a city of 120,000. Today, Yubari has a population of 8,000 and the uncrowded ski area hopes to bring some life back to the region.
There is no resort in Japan better suited to begin or end a larger Japan Trip.
Yubari Resort is one of those places that you just happen across while traveling and then keep returning to every year. It is easy to get to and just plain relaxing. The train quite literally drops you off in the parking lot. The hotel is then connected to the gondola via a covered bridge, and you will never feel the pressure to get first chair and first tracks because well... all of your tracks will be first tracks. Once you have had your fill of powdery tree skiing, then spend a few runs ripping the GS course, the mogul zipper line, or the surprisingly well-maintained terrain park. Don't forget to hone your turning skills on a smooth groomer run in true Japanese fashion and then snack on some famous Yubari Melon bread. Eat some dinner, marvel at the amazing assortment of melon bear (the Yubari mascot) merchandise, ski a few laps under the lights at night and then finish the day in an open air onsen.
Below is a video we made for Yubari Resort last winter. This is their famous Melon Kuma mascot, and pretty much sums up any trip to Japan - Strange, fun, and very snowy:
Day 7 - 9: Stay in the ski in ski out Hotel Mt. Racey in a Japanese style room with breakfast included.
Day 9: Drive back to CTS airport to catch your flights home.
This itinerary includes all of the lodging, lift tickets, transportation, gas, and road tolls. Breakfast and dinner is included at Rusutsu. Just Breakfast is included in Sapporo and at the Hotel Mt. Racey in Yubari.
The SnowLocals crew (Charlie, Jake, and George) will be your guides throughout this trip. We will show you more than just our favorite places to ski. We are there to share what we love about Japan and have a great time on another Hokkaido adventure!
For 8 people - The itinerary will cost US$ 7,980 per person.
*This itinerary is not set in stone and can be changed based on your preferences as there are many destination options in Hokkaido and plenty of time to plan.*
- If anyone prefers a private room at any location it is no problem and can be arranged for an added cost.
We took a group of journalists on a similar trip to Hokkaido and you can read about their experiences in the links below:
SKI MAGAZINE (or in print in the Nov. 2018 Issue)