Tempura is fairly easy to make at home, but can be quite messy; I prefer to get it out at shops. So, where can you find the best tempura in Okinawa?
Every local knows the answer is Oujima 奥武島! Oujima (also seen as Ojima) is located in the more southern part of the island, and is a part of Nanjo. It is connected by a bridge. My husband affectionately refers to this island as “tempura island” because there are several tempura shacks selling fried goodness to the many locals and Japanese tourists. **I recently heard a local also refer to this place as tempura island…!
Probably the most famous one (and with good reason) is Nakamoto tempura store 中本てんぷら店. It is located just to the right after you cross the bridge onto Oujima. Golden deliciousness. Try everything, but especially try the 揚げパン age-pan, meaning “fry bread”; you can get white sugar, brown sugar or kinako (roasted soybean powder). Heaven. The second thing I MUST recommend is the もずく mozuku tempura (mozuku is a special type of Okinawa seaweed), since this is a famous specialty product in this area. If they have アーサー asa (another type of Okinawa seaweed) tempura, you should definitely try that, too. Oh, and the best part? It is so cheap!
If you continue a bit further around this teeny-tiny island, you will come to another shack called Ooshiro tempura store 大城てんぷら店. They are also good, but I think Nakamoto gets my vote for number 1. Why not try both? Then you can decide for yourself which is best, since I am by no means the expert.
Once you fill up on tempura, just take a walk around the island (it is very small, just park at the public park) and take in some of the sights. It is not much, but there is some beach and a small temple. In the summer, there is a ハーリー haarii festival and races (haarii, also written in English as haari or hari, are Okinawan dragon boat races).