Winter Vacation at Rusutsu Resort

Rusutsu is simply a beautiful place, suited not just for ski-enthusiasts, young people, but also family with young children! It has something for everyone in every season. The 2 days I spent here out of the 11 days were really worth it and leaves sweet memories that I had in Hokkaido with my family!

Rusutsu Resort was kind-of a last minute addition to our Hokkaido travel itinerary last year in 2014 during the planning stage. Well … sort of. There isn’t really much last minute additions in my plans unless it was planned to be such haha! This was a recommendation from my wife’s friend who have had made several stays here every-time she made Japan her travelling destination. Having made this part of my trip, I can now completely comprehend why.

[Night View of Rusutsu Resort]

[Night View of Rusutsu Resort]

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[Winter view of Rusutsu from my Hotel room]

We travelled from Sapporo to Rusutsu in the 2nd week of December. No doubt we were in winter season in Hokkaido, however we were in the early part of the winter, as such, some of the winter activities were not fully available. Not to be set-back, upon settling down in the resort that had such an amazing room … it is hard not to jump into the cuddly and inviting beds wahaha!

[Standard Room in the North-South Wing]

[Standard Room in the North-South Wing]

Look at it … isn’t it inviting to say the least. Wide, spacious, clean, jumbo size twin beds

😛

List of Winter Activities

[List of Winter Activities]

There is a list of winter activities that we had to start writing off as the activities that can be done dwindle down due to insufficient snow cover during early winter. Horse Riding is out, no driving of snow mobiles, no dog sledding or air-boarding … that brings us quickly down to snow rafting, and ski-ing (my gosh … this is definitely my first being someone born in a place that is always summer)! It’s winter isn’t it … any outdoor activities definitely beats settling down for indoor sports or indoor activities  😈

[Snow Rafting]

[Snow Rafting]

My God! As if it wasn’t cold enough out in the open (even with all the winter clothes on) … no, we weren’t rafting like the picture above with face shields hahaha …. it’s definitely rafting, spinning around the snow at the mercy of the snow automobile in-front, and lots of snow flying right in our direction kicked up by the snow monster in-front together with the cold wind due to the speed … OMG, the front row seaters, me and my girl practically have to turn around our faces or shield our eyes from the continuous cold assault! That’s when the beanie caps proves its use by pulling it right down to cover the eyes and nose hahaha!

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We survived part one lol! What an experience it was. It feels almost similar to taking a Shot-over Jetboat in New Zealand that is boating and spinning at high speed with the cold autumn air assaulting the eyes, face and nose! Well … thinking back, some forms of eye shield would have been good before going for this trip 😀

After this snow rafting, when the activity has once more ceased …. suddenly everything turns quiet again. There wasn’t much people in this area with most or almost all on the skiing slopes, and the tranquility here is absolute with just the few of us in the whole big area! Away from the noise of civilization, just you and nature …. nothing else. If there is such thing as a Winter Wonderland … this is it!

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         [If there is a thing call Winter Wonderland … we are here!]    

Day 2 was our skiing day! I am no newbie to sports for the summer places. Me & my son are pretty good roller-bladers. But when it comes to Winter sports …. now, that is a new ball game altogether! Few of the blading techniques we know are applicable, in fact, the opposite seems to apply instead! For example, in roller blading, when one turns right, the weight of the body is on the right blade with the body leaning into the right turn. But for skiing, when one turns right, the weight of the body is on the left instead, leaning left into a right turn instead  🙄  (Not helpful at all LOL!)

Rusutsu_View of Mt Yotei

[View from Rusutsu of Mt Yotei]

As you can guess, a crash course of 2 hours for a family of roller bladers wasn’t easy requiring an unlearning and re-learning again of the correct method to turn. And when faced with a gentle slope where one gathers speed when going down, it is just all too easy to lapse back into the roller-blading mode, making the gentle skiing turns a chore 😆

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[That’s us with our instructor Gallagher, a very patient British chap 🙂 In our break time, he helped my girl build a little snow man haha]

DSC_0619DSC_0556[This is us, looking very cool with the skiing gears … but not so cool when it comes to actual skiing hahah]

And of course the grand finale…. up by the chair lift to the top of the beginner slope and all the way down ?!?! The slope didn’t feel like a beginner at all !

[Ski Chair Lift]

[Ski Chair Lift]

[This was the last part of the slope from the top]

[This was the last part of the slope from the top … guess it isn’t hard to imagine how high the slope went]

Thanks to Gallagher, we all managed to make it down safely from the top of the slope. There won’t be a second time for now lol!

And some night time ‘sled’ racing to calm the nerves … something that is easier and less the big “FEAR” factor 😀

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Not to mention that there is some good hot springs here to thaw after being out for the whole day in the freezing winter … a  perfect way to end the night! 🙂

There is 2 Sodium / Hydrogen Carbonate Spring onsens: one at Rusutsu Tower 2F (Open-Air) and one at South Wing 1F to warm up the chilled body.

[Hot Spring at Rusutsu Tower]

[Hot Spring at Rusutsu Tower]

Of course, whilst all the writings here is about winter in Rusutsu, here is a quick preview and prelude to what can be seen and done in the other 3 seasons :

[Perfect View of Mt Yotei from the Mt Observatory in Summer]

[Perfect View of Mt Yotei from the Mt Observatory in Summer]

[The Seas of Cloud that can be observed from the Mt Observatory around 5-6am]

[The Seas of Cloud that can be observed from the Mt Observatory around 5-6am]

[Rusutsu Theme Park & Night Theme Park]

[Rusutsu Theme Park & Night Theme Park]

Nearby, there are various sight-seeing spots that can be best seen during the non-winter season:

For more booking information on Rusutsu Resort for the coming winter or other seasons, click on the below link:

  1. Agoda.com
  2. Booking.com

 

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