Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Rusutsu
- Where is Rusutsu Resort?
Rusutsu Resort is on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, which is Japan’s northern-most island. Rusutsu is a 90 minute drive from both downtown Sapporo and New Chitose Airport (CTS).
- What is the difference between Rusutsu Resort and the Westin Rusutsu Tower?
Up until the winter of 2015/16 Rusutsu Resort included the three peaks of the ski area (East Mt., West Mt., and Mt. Isola) as well as the North and South Wings of the hotel complex and the all-suite Tower Hotel. In 2015 the Westin purchased just the Tower Hotel from Rusutsu Resort. The Tower has been re-branded as the “Westin Rusutsu Resort” but still operates as though connected to the rest of Rusutsu Resort. You can eat at all of the restaurants in both hotels, and the lift tickets are all valid on the entire ski area (no matter which hotel you purchase them through).
- Is there a town around Rusutsu?
There is a small town close to Rusutsu, but it is difficult to access without a car and not much is happening in this town. Instead, Rusutsu Resort is on a sprawling campus that accesses 3 separate mountains and includes multiple restaurants, bars, shops, and activities. A monorail (or 5 min. walk) connects the Rusutsu Tower to the North and South Wing of the hotel and on this monorail journey you pass under the road that brings you to the resort. Along this road are two convenience shops and a few other bars and restaurants. Rusutsu is it’s own self-contained town.
- Can I cook for myself at Rusutsu?
The hotel rooms and the suites at Rusutsu Resort do not have kitchens in them. There is an electric kettle to heat up water in each room however. You cannot cook for yourself at Rusutsu but you can eat on a budget from the convenience stores. The most popular of the 2 stores is 7-11, and the 7-11 in Japan has better quality food than what most are accustomed to finding in other 7-11 shops around the world.
- What kinds of things can I find at the 7-11?
At this 7-11 you can buy snacks, drinks, beer, liquor, sake, toiletries, simple household items, magazines (in Japanese), a variety of noodle cups that you just add hot water to, and a good selection of prepared food. This prepared food includes rice dishes, meat dishes, fish dishes, noodle dishes, and mystery dishes. There are warm ‘buns’ filled with different fillings (pork, chicken, fish, pizza). There are triangular rice snacks also with various fillings including salmon, tuna, squid, chicken, and other mysterious items. This all won’t be a mystery if you can read Japanese.
- How do I get money at Rusutsu? Is there an ATM?
At the 7-11 there is an ATM so you can withdraw money. 7-11 in Japan has their own banking system and seems to be one of the only ATMs that regularly accept international cards. You can pay for things in and around the resort with most major credit cards too.
- What is there to eat at the resort’s restaurants?
Rusutsu has over 10 different restaurants that serve all types of food. There are also other snack stands, sandwich delis and shops that serve food throughout the day and evening. The main restaurants include: traditional Japanese, Italian, French, a Japanese Pub, Korean BBQ and various full buffets with a huge selection of different foods. The smaller snack shops serve pizza, sandwiches, hot dogs, hamburgers, ramen bowels, fried chicken, curry rice, meat dishes, crêpes, pastries, cakes, and more. There are various on-mountain lodges that also serve lunch food such as ramen noodle bowls, fried chicken, curry rice and more.
- What are the best restaurants/foods?
My favorite restaurant is the Japanese pub(Izakaya Kakachi). My favorite dinner buffet is at the Oktoberfest restaurant. The Korean BBQ restaurant is very popular. Ramen noodle bowls are perfect lunch during a day shredding powder. The fried chicken in Japan is a must try, it is better than other fried chicken. There are plenty of crazy and delicious snack at the 7-11. Try ‘green tea KitKat’ bars.
- What does it cost to eat at Rusutsu?
The 7-11 is the cheapest place to get food. Then the snack shops, small food stands around the resort, and on-mountain lodges are also not expensive. Think US$ 7 for a large bowl of ramen (real ramen, not the cheap package stuff), $8 for a curry rice bowl with meat on top, $5 for fried chicken. Then you can spend $25-$40 for a good meal at the Japanese Pub or a buffet entrance. The French and Italian restaurants can be very expensive.
- What are Rusutsu bars like?
There are no clubs or crazy nightlife at Rusutsu. For the most part people are too tired from riding POW all day to party hard. But there is a bar in the resort which is good for an end-of-the-day drink. There is a nicer bar/lounge too. Get some beers and sake with your meal at the Japanese Pub and then buy the rest of your drinks at 7-11 or the beer vending machines around the hotel to kick off a party in your room. Go check out the local bar called Rodeo across the street one night. This place is tiny, but is a favorite among foreign ski/snowboard instructors and employees.
- What other activities are there at Rusutsu?
Lots. Snowmobile, snow-bike, snowshoe, dogsled, snow-raft, horseback ride, 2 Japanese hot bath (onsen), wave pool, waterslide, arcade, massage, Yoga, small fountain/light show, and just explore the place. Most extra activities in the snow also cost extra.
- What is in the hotel room?
The 7-person suite in the Tower has a room with 3 beds when you enter and then stairs to the lower level. On the lower level there is a large living room, a small bar with a sink, a refrigerator, and electric kettle. There is another room attached with 2 beds and then 2 other beds fold out of the wall in the main room. There are 2 couches and a chair, 2 stools, a coffee table and a T.V. There is one toilet in it’s own room and then a shower and 2 sinks in the bathroom. The sinks are separate from the shower room. Each room, except from the toilet and bathroom, has a large window that doesn’t open. You may be on the 21st floor. In front of each window is a windowsill with a vent that blows air. This is a great place to dry gear. Otherwise each room has a closet and so does each fold out bed. There are coin operated laundry machines on the ground floor of the Tower, and each room gets one or two ski/snowboard lockers (also on the ground floor) where you leave your board/boots. Sometimes the staff won’t let you store your boards in the hotel room (just keep it in the board bag to sneak it past). There is Wi-Fi in the room.
- What is breakfast like?
The included breakfast is a well-stocked buffet. There are 2 breakfast buffets in the Tower and it is generally not worth making the journey to a different buffet in other parts of the resort for breakfast. All of the breakfast buffets are mostly the same.