8 Winds Garden Restaurant
During my mother’s visit to Okinawa we spent a few days on the Okinawa mainland where a friend of mine showed us some of the local sites. One of those sights was on the cliffs of Nanjo city in the south-east of the island. High above the ocean sits a set of rustic buildings and an amazing view.
The place our guides suggested for lunch was the Eight Winds Garden (八風畑) Restaurant and Kokuto factory. Built around the black sugar candy factory (which is open to the public, but was not operating while we were there), the restaurant seems to have expanded organically. Unlike most restaurants the biggest draw is the view, so seating is mostly outside, with tables, benches, and bars set amid flowers and carefully cultivated plants.
Of course, the seating isn’t all out in the open. A mix of retro and artistic flair is the only thing that ties the separate buildings (ie containers, lean-tos, etc). Still, it all comes together in a unique, appealing, and welcoming way.
As you might imagine, while the view was nice we were hungry as well. Eight Winds Garden does an Okinawan take on a variety of dishes, many of them including the black sugar made on site. We four adults and two children opted for their set menus which included drinks, dessert and a main dish.
The boys went for potato pizza. The classic dish with Okinawan benimo (purple sweet potatoes). The ladies chose vegetable curry which had great chunks of things like Japanese pumpkin and was slightly sweetened with the black sugar. My friend and I went for taco rice, a favorite in Okinawa.
Everyone but I went for the black sugar pudding and I got warm zenzai.
At about 1200 yen per person, it wasn’t super expensive, but far more than a quick bite. Still the food was fresh and delicious and the view made it even better. If you’re in Okinawa and looking for somewhere off the beaten track, stop by for a sweet view.