Karen Iwadare experiences the newly opened wellness room at Rusutsu Resort. She soothes her mind and body through skating and hotel life.

Lifestyle snowboarder Karen Iwadare traveled to Hokkaido in early January during one of the coldest waves of the season. She spent the first half in Niseko, and the second half at Rusutsu Resort's newly opened wellness room this winter. She enjoyed three days of snow life in Rusutsu for the first time in eight years, and we asked her to tell us about the charm of Rusutsu.
Photo: Neil Hartmann

Karen skiing Rusutsu, which is blessed with the best conditions
I visited Rusutsu for the first time in 8 years and enjoyed snowboarding.

In 2016, Karen Iwadare ended her six-year stint with Japan's snowboard cross team, and since then has been active as a professional rider, as well as commentating on the Olympics and appearing on TV programs. This season marks the 6th anniversary of her snowboarding career, and in recent years she has taken a job in the IT field, working remotely while enjoying traveling and snowboarding, and is pursuing her newfound passion as a lifestyle snowboarder. Establishing a style.

She visited Hokkaido in early January. She stayed in Niseko with her friends for the first half, and went to Rusutsu Resort alone for the second half to film this project. It has been several years since she visited Rusutsu. The last time she skated was eight years ago, and she has bitter memories of breaking her elbow during a competition held in West when she was a competitor and having to be taken away in a tanker. It is said that there is. Many years have passed since then, and this time she is not just enjoying snowboarding as an athlete, but purely enjoying snowboarding and the snow life here in Rusutsu. She was in close contact with her for three days.

During this stay, I simply enjoyed snowboarding.

Even in Hokkaido, where winters tended to be mild, the season began in earnest with the arrival of a cold wave at the beginning of January. On the day she arrived at Rusutsu, it snowed in the evening, and the next morning the sun shone on the ski slopes, giving her the best conditions for what could be considered the first THE DAY of the season. In this photoshoot, maybe I slipped when I was a child? I headed to East Mt. & Mt. Isola in Rusutsu, where I have vague memories.

Skating Rusutsu for the first time in a while. I could see how excited she was.

First thing in the morning, it's refreshing to ski cross-prepared turns on the grooming barn, which has been packed with snow. Then, spray with the finest dry powder that can only be found in Hokkaido. She always had a smile on her face as she skied, giving the impression that she was genuinely enjoying snowboarding. She skied firmly on Rusutsu that day and described her feeling on the slopes as follows.

``Rusutsu has a long course and I get tired halfway through the long run.Also, I heard in advance that it is relatively safe to ski anywhere, so even if the weather is bad, I can feel safe going on the course, so I thought it would be easy to slip. That's what I thought.The barn was wide and long, and the grooming was very beautiful.Also, since there are so many courses, I think the number of people is spread out.Compared to Niseko, Rusutsu doesn't seem crowded, so I was waiting for the lift. I didn't feel any stress.The east side at the front was a little crowded, but as I moved towards Heavenly at the back, there were fewer people, and I felt that the back area was a hidden gem.

The top of the slope is like a silver world. Karen is exhilaratingly skating through the wonderful scenery.
Show off the sharp carving with cross preparation
I enjoyed Rusutsu for the first time in a while while hunting powder in the side country.
Rusutsu course map. This wide slope is one of the best in Japan.

Personally, I enjoyed watching “Isola 3rd Quad”. After getting off this lift, the stream at the end of the ``Heavenly Canyon'' course was interesting as it looked like a natural pipe, and if you traversed the front and back of the stream, there were various lines, so I skied many lines, but until the end. There was some powder left. In addition, the powder at ``Sugar Ball'' (commonly known as) on top of ``Isola A Course'' accessed from the summit of Mt. Isola was also amazing. When we reached the summit of Isola (altitude 994m), the snow quality changed. I was surprised and thought, ``It's so light here!'' and was able to appreciate the quality of Rusutsu's snow once again. This slope is really too wide. One day just isn't enough...I guess that's the charm.''

Taste the dry powder unique to this area
The potential of Rusutsu is that no matter how many runs you ski, there is still powder left.
Returning to the courseKaren carved an original line with Bittery Turn



Wellness room/premium suite
After skiing, soothe your mind and body in the new wellness room this season.

After Snow, we had lunch at ``Neve Cafe'' in ``Rusutsu Resort Hotel & Convention,'' and then stayed in the ``Wellness Room'' that opened this season on the 9th floor of the same building. This room is based on the concept of "fulfilled," which represents the value of an extraordinary experience, and is equipped with a private sauna, cold bath, and hot bath, as well as oxygen capsules, a hydrogen machine, the latest massage chairs, and more to create the ultimate wellness space. It will be a premium suite that offers a “stay” (for detailsplease use this form.). After enjoying snowboarding to the fullest in the morning, she spent the afternoon relaxing in this room to relieve the fatigue of her trip.

Lunch time at "Neve Cafe". In addition to original blend coffee, latte, tea, smoothies, and alcoholic beverages, we also offer cakes, cookies, sandwiches, and more.

``The wellness room was really nice.The facilities in the room were so complete that I didn't have enough time.Go back to the room and relax in the sauna, cold bath, or bath.Afterwards, there is also a massage in the room. I really didn't have enough time to relieve my body fatigue on the chair and oxygen capsule.There are beauty machines, facial equipment, amenities, etc., which is nice for women.There are speakers in every place. It was also nice to be able to connect via Bluetooth and listen to my favorite music.Also, the sauna was very clean and the ski slope was right in front of me, which was very refreshing.It was a very relaxing time.''

A dry sauna wrapped in a wooden belt and designed to be one with Rusutsu's nature. It is designed so that you can sit on the lower, middle, and upper berths, and the walls are made of far-infrared black silica, a natural ore from Kaminokuni, Hokkaido. Self-rolling is also possible
A hot bath that feels like an open-air bath when you open the window. Create a blissful bath time in a fantastic space created by projection mapping.
The living room is also equipped with beauty machines and hydrogen machines that provide a salon-quality treatment experience.
An oxygen capsule with a built-in OXYRIUM cooler is installed in the room.
She has a top-of-the-line Panasonic massage chair installed in her bedroom to relieve the fatigue of traveling and snowboarding.

Rusutsu Resort's restaurants feature many health-conscious, guilt-free menus. For dinner this time, I chose the Wellness Course, which can be reserved only for those staying in the wellness room, at the "Steak & Seafood Restaurant Bellevue" in the resort. At a restaurant with a view of the night game from the window, we enjoyed a full course meal consisting of nine dishes.

``The meals at the restaurant in the evening were very delicious and had health-conscious courses.We had fresh vegetables from Hokkaido, and some of the dishes were wrapped instead of fried.All of the dishes were based on the concept of being healthy. Overall, it was easy to eat.It was a lot of food, but it didn't feel too heavy and I was able to finish it all."

The restaurant usually serves a la carte meals, but they have created special courses for wellness customers, using health-conscious ingredients and cooking methods to create healthy course meals. Wellness course fee is 24,200 yen (tax and service included)

``Recently, the word wellness tourism, which refers to ``travels that refresh you and become healthier and more beautiful through spa, fitness, and recreation while traveling,'' has been attracting attention worldwide. There was a variety of content related to wellness available, so I was able to heal my daily fatigue and refresh myself with snowboarding to prepare for my next job.I was able to spend exactly that kind of resort life.Snowboarding while working. I think it's especially recommended for people who enjoy the holidays and those who are health-conscious.If you can stay for a long time, you'll be able to better prepare your mind and body.''

▼Click here for the official movie of the wellness room


What is the overall appeal of Rusutsu Resort?

After dinner, on her way back to her room, she bought her favorite natural wine at TARU, a wine shop in the resort, and enjoyed her last night in the room, drinking slowly. The next morning, the final day of her trip, 20cm of fresh snow had fallen on the slopes, and she had another wonderful powder day, enjoying three days of snow life at Rusutsu Resort. Last, before she boarded the bus to the airport, I asked her about the overall appeal of Rusutsu Resort.

"Wine and Bottle Shop TARU" sells carefully selected alcoholic beverages from all over Japan and abroad, including wine from Hokkaido. I bought a bottle of wine that I loved and enjoyed it slowly in my room.

``I feel that the people who come to Rusutsu Resort are of a wide range of ages. There are student groups, young skiers, families, older people who have always loved Rusutsu, and people from overseas. There are lots of people.This is probably because this place is suitable for everyone who enjoys the snow life at the hotel.Even if you don't want to ski today, you can relax in your room and enjoy the various activities and activities within the resort. It's nice that it's a resort where you can do everything in one place, as there are shops.You can come with your family or friends, and even if you all want to do different things, everyone can enjoy it comfortably.You can just enjoy snowboarding. I thought that the appeal of Rusutsu is that you can enjoy a holiday with a comprehensive snow life such as resorts and skiing.It's been a while since I was able to come here, but I will definitely come back when I come to Hokkaido in the future. I want to come to Rusutsu.”

She was enjoying snowboarding with a smile on her face from beginning to end. This is probably because she had a really fulfilling snow life during the three days in Rusutsu.
Karen successfully guessed Rusutsu's THE DAY on this trip.

After completing her wonderful trip in Hokkaido, she returned to Tokyo with a refreshed mind and body in preparation for work starting the next day. She will also enjoy snowboarding this season, timing the next cold weather.

Karen Iwadare Born and residing in Tokyo. 1993 years old, born on December 12, 24. She started snowboarding at the age of 30, and this season marks her 10th anniversary. Currently, he embodies the lifestyle of snowboarding by working remotely in IT-related work, pinpointing days when the conditions are good, and skiing while traveling with friends from all over the place. Sponsored by ROXY. Belongs to Saint Horse. instagram: @kareniwadare

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