If you feel like your life is missing some spice, you’re in luck, because a visit to Salsa Street 2015 in Yoyogi Park is sure to add just that. Taking place on June 20 and 21, this weekend is jam-packed with everything salsa—from dance and music to food.
Some cultural background … “salsa,” in Spanish, means “sauce,” and originates from sal, the Latin word for salt. “Salad,” “salami,” and “sausage” also have their origins in this word, including “salary,” which stems from the ancient Roman practice of paying workers’ wages with salt.
Just as any type of sauce is made by mixing together different ingredients, salsa is a mix of different styles of music, and this eclectic mashup is exactly what Salsa Street is about—as you’ll no doubt leave with a taste of different Caribbean and Latin American cultures. Here’s what you can expect from the festival.
Food and Drink
Munch on tacos and wash them down with some Caribbean and Latin American beer, a mojito, or caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail made by mixing cachaça, a hard liquor made from sugar cane, with sugar and lime. You can also enjoy other tropical cocktails, along with rum, tequila, and even cigars.
Music and Dance
Of course, salsa music will be playing all day, and if you’re worried your moves aren’t up to par, don’t … salsa dance lessons will be offered!
Will take place rain or shine. Jun 20, 10am-8pm; Jun 21, 10am-7pm, free entry. Keyaki Street, Yoyogi Park. Nearest station: Harajuku, Yoyogi Kōen, or Meiji Jingūmae. www.guavaberry.jp/salsastreet
For those who want to brush up on their salsa dancing skills before the festival, here are a few spots where you can dance the night away!
El Cafe Latino
With drinks ¥500-1,200, El Cafe Latino offers salsa, merengue, and bachata lessons, taught by professional dancers.
Some lessons are offered for free and others cost ¥2,500.
Open Tue-Thu and Sun, 6pm-12am; Fri and Sat, 6pm-5am. Closed Mon. An admission fee of ¥1,500 (includes one drink) will be charged on Fri and Sat. 1F WIN Roppongi, 3-15-24 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3402-8989. www.elcafelatino.com/?lang=en
Lessons are offered every day for ¥1,000, with beginner lessons available free of charge on Wed, Fri and Sat.
Open Sun-Thu, 6pm-1am; Fri, and Sat, 6pm-5am. Admission fee ¥1,200 Sun-Thu, ¥1,500 Fri and Sat, both with one drink. Reine 2F, 5-3-4 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-3746-0244. www.salsacaribe.jp
Lessons such as LA-style salsa (¥2,000 with one drink) offered daily, with weekly free lessons.
Open Sun-Thu, 6pm-2am; Fri-Sat, 6pm-am. B1 Kobayashi Bldg., 7-10-3 Roppongi, Minato-ku. Tel: 03-106-0032. www.paraiso-bar.com