Las Vegas’ Neon Boneyard: A Beginners Guide

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Anything can go out of fashion, including casino signs. And in Vegas, when something goes out of style, it’s tossed. Fortunately though, many of Vegas’ most famous casinos kept hold of their ‘out of date’ signs and they are now on display at ‘The Neon Boneyard’.

This two-acre outdoor museum is home to almost 200 signs which lean up against each other as a tribute to the glitz and glam of Las Vegas days gone by. At $19 per adult and a short taxi drive from The Strip, it is –in my opinion- a must-see addition to any Vegas holiday.

When should you go?

Self-guided tours are not permitted due to the possibility of broken glass and other potentially dangerous things about the place; you must book a slot with a tour guide. Tours run all day from 10:30-2100, so when is the best time to go? After reading reviews online, we decided against the more expensive ($25) night-time tours. The vast majority of the signs don’t work anymore and are lit up with spotlights on the ground instead. This doesn’t really replicate the original working lights plus you can’t see the characteristic flaking paint and blown bulbs, which is part of the charm of the place- you can see working signs on the strip, after all.

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neonboneyard-lostness-co-ukPersonally, I think the signs look best at around sunset. The golden light simply dazzles off the signs and reminds you that you are stood in the middle of the desert. That sepia tone the sun casts and the characteristic ‘run down’ nature of the place is reminiscent of Wild West movies.

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History is not something that people usually associate with Las Vegas, but it’s there if you look for it. So if you’re missing a bit of culture, step away from the slot machines and head over to The Neon Boneyard, and make sure you have plenty of memory on your camera, you won’t stop taking pictures.

You can book a tour through the Neon Boneyard’s website here. Or call them on (702) 387-6366.

 

 

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A Real Page Turner: Tokyo’s Book and Bed Hotel

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Capsule hotels are a very Japanese thing. Originally designed as a cheap bed for the drunken salary man who’s missed the last train home, these ‘stack ‘em high, sell ‘em cheap’ beds are now becoming a staple part of a tourist trip to Tokyo. The traditional capsule hotels are essentially rows and rows of beds built into a vast wall- a bit like a bed in a morgue, but less cold and with super fast Wi-Fi. The beds will normally be large enough to sit up in, and will often have a TV, personal air-con and ventilation system, and a night-light. If you don’t suffer from claustrophobia then this is a great place to rest your head for the night. Enter Tokyo’s up and coming capsule hotel: The Book and Bed.

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Coming out of the elevator on the seventh floor, you are greeted with this reception hatch

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Cosy bed nook

A slightly less traditional capsule hotel is the Book and Bed hotel in Tokyo. It’s essentially a fusion between a capsule hotel and a library. Behind an entire wall of books (both Japanese and English) are cosy beds complete with an outlet and night-light, so you can take a book to bed with you. There is also a separate bed space, away from the slightly noisier bookshelf area. The beds here are narrower and less cute, but cheaper and quieter. Surrounding the bookshelves are comfy sofas and large windows so you can look out from the seventh floor onto the glittering skyscrapers of Ikebukuro. There’s even a tea station so you can settle down with a cuppa while you read.

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This isn’t the kind of place that you come back to a 3am and pass out. It’s designed as a place to escape the rush, to retreat. You will want to spend the night in. It’s Japanese functionality meets hipster cool. If you love everything cosy and trendy, then you’ll love this place. As they say at the Book and Bed: ‘have a book night!’

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The Book and Bed is located on the 7th floor of the Lumiere Building, just a 30 second walk from exit C8 of Ikebukuro station. To reserve a bed, visit their website.