Rusutsu Ski Resort
After Niseko, this is Hokkaido's best known resort, famous for the 13m of deep powder that falls here each winter.
If you're after bottomless powder, constant snow top ups during your stay then Rusutsu is a good bet as a stopover on your Japanese ski trip. The crowds are smaller than at Niseko and arguably the steeper terrain is better, with powder also lasting longer here than at its more famous neighbour.
The resort is around an hour from Niseko, making it a viable day trip option, but with a lot of terrain to explore it is worth staying here a little longer to really experience all that the resort has to offer. There's some smart accommodation at the base, as well as some traditional Japanese options and of course onsen can be found at almost every hotel. Access via bullet train to Sapporo is possible, but if you're a little short on time then flying is definitely a better option.
Resort website: www.hokkaido-rusutsu.com