Rusutsu is at once bizarre and brilliant. Lying just 80km west of Sapporo, the resort boasts an embarrassment of powder-fine snow, averaging over 14 metres of snowfall annually. Its central hotel complex, consisting of two hotel wings and a tower, contains a veritable wonderland of Japanese idiosynchronism including brightly lit merry-go-rounds, animatronic canine jazz bands and talking trees. Beneath the heavy coating of Japanese kitsch, however, there lies a truly breathtaking snow sports destination.