2019 HOKKAIDO, JAPan

- 7 Night price quote - 

Including:

7-nights lodging in a room for 2 with a king bed at the Westin Rusutsu Tower

Breakfast and dinner included each day at your choice of various restaurants

Private round-trip bus transfer between the hotel and the Sapporo CTS airport

5-day lift tickets at Rusutsu Resort (includes 3 skiable peaks and night skiing)

US$ 3,885 per person

*based on the current season's prices, as the hotel has not yet released updated prices for next season*


Sample Itinerary

Orientation and travel info:

Japan consists of multiple islands. The main island is Honshu (where Tokyo is), and the northernmost island is Hokkaido. This trip takes you to Hokkaido, and Rusutsu Resort in specific.  Sapporo is the major city on Hokkaido and the airport you will fly into is the New Chitose airport (CTS). First, you will likely make a brief stop iatTokyo's two main airports (NRT or HND), clear Japanese customs and change planes. The flight from Tokyo to Sapporo is 1.5 hours. 

The New Chitose airport is not really in the city of Sapporo, instead it is about 45 minutes away by train. Rusutsu Resort is 90 minutes by bus from both the CTS airport and the city of Sapporo.

 
Hokkaido+Map.jpg
 

Day 1 - February 16

  • You board a flight from the East Coast bound for Japan. 
  • When flying to Japan from the US, you will arrive the day after you take-off
  • A possible flight example is below:
Snowlocals flight to Japan

Day 2 - February 17

  • Arrive at Sapporo's CTS airport. 
  • A chartered bus will be waiting. The driver will meet you in the arrivals hall. 
  • The bus ride to Rusutsu Resort is 90 minutes and includes a stop half-way.
  • Check in to the Westin Rusutsu Tower Hotel. 
Strain_SnowLocalsRusutsu_024.jpg
westin rooms snowlocals

 

    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 across the street (connected by a monorail) from the Westin Rusutsu Tower hotel - where I propose you stay. Both hotels were originally owned by Kamori Kanko until the Westin purchased the all-suite tower hotel in 2015. You can use the facilities of both hotels regardless of which one you are staying in. There are over a dozen restaurants in the resort complex, with a wide range of different cuisines. 

    Rusutsu itself is located an easy 90 minute bus ride 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 of neighboring  Niseko. This keeps the crowds manageable and the snow pristine. In traditional Japanese style, no detail is overlooked at this resort. From a luxury 24-story all-suite tower to the adjacent hotel complex, and all of the amenities and activities in between, it's tough to feel bored here. 
     

    Days 3 - 8 - February 18 - 23

    Morning:

    • Breakfast is included and is buffet style on the ground floor of the hotel.
    • Chances are good that it snowed overnight, but no powder panic here. Take your time to get out and enjoy the snow.
    • The lifts open at 9:00am and there is no accurate snow depth reporting in the morning. You don't know just how deep it is until you get up there. 

    Day/Afternoon:

    • Ski -- you can ski till 8:00pm (night skiing) everyday if you want.
    • There are various mid-mountain and base lodges where you can eat lunch. Or, you can return to the resort complex to eat within one of the hotels. Lunch is NOT included in the price quote.
    • Other activity options are listed below

    Dinner:

    • With included dinners, you will have a voucher that is accepted at various restaurants throughout both hotels. Some restaurants are buffet style, and others will offer a set menu that the voucher covers with the option to always add on items and drinks from the regular menu. Still other restaurants will assign a monetary value to the ticket voucher and allow you to order anything you want from the menu. 
    • There is a traditional Japnese style restaurant, a Japanese pub 'Izakaya" style (recommended), French, Italian, Korean BBQ, multiple buffets with an assortment of choices and a sushi restaurant. In addition, there are other food shops and stands within the resort and still others outside the resort that are privately owned. 
    • There are 2 main bars in the resort, one being a very nice whisky bar with a wide range of famous Japanese whisky. 


    Activity Options - The Rusutsu campus is filled with activities and if you have any energy leftover following your day skiing, or if the weather doesn't cooperate and it didn't snow 30cms overnight,  then you can have your pick from: snowmobiling, dog-sledding, snow rafting, snowshoeing, horseback riding, 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. Massages and spa treatment services are available as well. Then retreat to your room and wait for the snow to fall again because it's never long between storms.

    Sushi dinner at Rusutsu
    Rusutsu Resort sushi

    Videos From Rusutsu

    Guided ski days / Niseko day trip / Mechanized Extras

    • Lift-accessed guiding:

    From Rusutsu Resort, the popular destination of Niseko is only 45 minutes by car, just on the other side of the towering Yotei volcano. 

    • I would recommend at least one day of guided skiing for some of the group. To change tings up and to see another part of Hokkaido, this guided day can be arranged so that one or two guides drive you to Niseko for a day of skiing and an afternoon of exploring the village/apres. 
    • A private guide for your group would cost about US$ 165 per person (exact cost depends on number of people going and number of guides needed). 
    • A second guided day at Rusutsu would also be helpful if you wanted to learn the mountain and find some secret spots you may not find on your own.

     

    • Heli Skiing:

    There is only one heli skiing operation in Japan and the peak that they fly you to is just next to Rusutsu Resort

    • For US$ 1,700 per person you can get 6 helicopter drops with a guide on Mt. Shiribetsu. 

     

    • Cat Skiing: 

    There are a few cat skiing operations near Niseko and Rustutsu. 

    • Afull day of guided cat skiing would cost about US$ 610 per person. 

    Day 9 - February 24

    Morning:

    • Catch a 90 minute chartered bus back to CTS airport for flights home. The bus will pick you up from the Westin Hotel.
    • On your return journey, you generally arrive back in the US on the same day that you left Japan, and occasionally even earlier in the day.
    • An example of a return flight is below:
    return flight snowlocals
    • Return home and tell all of your friends how much powder you skied in Japan!