After 2 days at Niseko I took one of the buses to Rusutsu to give that a go (bus transfer is easy from the transportation hub with two different outfits). The area base is kind of different since a smallish set of runs is at the resort/hotel base, but the better skiing is on the adjacent mountain which you ride a gondola to access, and then a chair or two to get where you want to go.
I thought the day trip was very well worth it.
From 06 February, 2016 To 06 February, 2016
Snow condition on visit:
Fresh snow, a few sun breaks but then more snow. Packed powder groomers, powder off-piste.
Things I liked:
I felt like I was in Japan - since the majority of riders were Japanese (based on cafeteria) opposed to Niseko which felt like being in Europe with multi-national crowds.
Trees as mentioned in all review are indeed great. Had I had more time/knowledge I know my buddy and I could have hit a lot more areas but we were a bit hesitant since we didn't want to get stuck slogging through deep snow if we went astray (he was a boarder and had to back out of one area).
I'm guessing the lifts keep operating in poor weather since they are not as exposed as Niseko (where the top was closed the day prior).
Lack of lift lines.
High quality lifts.
Things I didn't like:
Low vertical. Takes some time working way through less interesting slopes to area where you want to ski.