Okinawa Tourism Information:EnjoyYourTimeinOkinawaEvenMoreThroughSports♪At[FOOTBALLCAFÉCAMPNOU]onParadiseStreetinNahaCity

Enjoy Your Time in Okinawa Even More Through Sports♪
At [FOOTBALL CAFÉ CAMP NOU] on Paradise Street in Naha City

post : 2021.02.12 19:00

Known across Japan for the great number of soccer fans that gather there, is a football café in Naha with the concept of “the best in football at all times.”

The great sports matches that you can watch here aren’t limited to soccer, but also includes rugby, combative sports, and upon request, even Shogi. This café, where you can see all sorts of live sports matches from around the world, is FOOTBALL CAFÉ CAMP NOU. Sports fans from Okinawa, across Japan, and people of all nationalities gather at this awesome café.


CAMP NOU is located along Paradise Street (or officially, New Paradise Street), an L-shaped street that goes from Okiei Street to Kokusai Street in Naha. The exterior of the café is a brick wall and a reddish-brown FC Ryukyu flag dances in the breeze.

Hiroaki Ikema, the owner, is known as Hiro-san. He is the representative of Ryukyu Granas, the supporters’ group for Okinawa’s professional soccer team, the FC Ryukyu.

The café opened in 2003, the same year FC Ryukyu was established. Hiro-san chose the name of the café because he hoped that someday, “Okinawa will be home to a stadium like Barcelona’s great Camp Nou.” For many soccer fans, the name is certainly a familiar one, since it’s the home stadium for FC Barcelona and is known as one of Europe’s best stadiums, with matches played by teams in the top leagues in Europe.


Once inside the establishment, you’ll have no doubts that “this certainly is a sports bar,” as you see the walls displayed with numerous uniforms and autographs of players.

Although we might refer to it as a “sports bar”, CAMP NOU is a “café”, intentionally named so by Hiro-san so that “people can casually drop by and feel right at home.” And also so that “anyone can come to enjoy themselves even without drinking alcohol.” Still, the café offers a great selection of alcoholic drinks.

On the menu are Orion Beer, Heineken, craft beers, Awamori, and other familiar choices, and some unique ones like “Ouen (support, cheer) Chu-hai” made with the supporting colors of each club in the J2 League. The popular choice is the “Ryukyu Damashii (spirit/soul of Ryukyu) Chu-hai” with their reddish-brown team color created with pomegranate juice. If you’re visiting Okinawa, why not give this drink a try?

The top choices on the food menu by regulars are their Tacos and Taco Rice. The taste of the taco meat is authentic, as the recipe was taught to Hiro-san from a South American friend. Typically, Fish & Chips are made with a white fish, but since “Okinawa’s tuna is tasty,” Hiro-san offers his Fish & Chips with a unique Okinawan twist, using fried Okinawan tuna.

You can choose a seat at the bar to enjoy Yuntaku (chatting) with Hiro-san, or at a table by the window where you can relax on the spacious sofa seats. When there’s a live game on, the 25-seat establishment gets packed and full of excitement. Particularly on nights before a match in Okinawa, supporters from the visiting team and the home team flock to the café, and at times, it’s too full to enter.

[Photo courtesy of FOOTBALL CAFÉ CAMP NOU] (From 2019)

When CAMP NOU first opened, there were no other sports bars in Naha that centered around soccer, and so soccer fans didn’t have a place to congregate to watch games and exchange. “I think more than anyone, people from overseas really missed having a place like this around. We had some people from overseas who gathered here to watch live soccer games for a European tournament, and word got around after that, and more people began to come,” reflects Hiro-san.

He also adds, “I want to make sure to keep this place comfortable for my customers and not just a place where they just come and watch a game and leave, but a place where people can enjoy conversation and build ties with each other.” It’s that heartwarming thought and care that people can feel in the bar that likely keeps them coming back to CAMP NOU time and time again.

[Photo courtesy of FOOTBALL CAFÉ CAMP NOU] (From 2019)

“Okinawa is full of wonderful attractions like its scenic beauty, music, and others, but the sports scene is also thriving, like basketball, handball, beach soccer, and more. I hope that people will come to love Okinawa even more through sports and that sports will be another great way to enjoy Okinawa. It would make me happy if my café can offer people an opportunity to enjoy sports here in Okinawa.,” says Hiro-san.


Hiro-san receives many customers who come by to just enjoy chatting with him. “On days without any games, it’s quiet and laid back. Of course, we talk about all sorts of things, not just about soccer,” he says. The photo above is Hiro-san with his rescue cat, Ran-chan.

“Supporting FC Ryukyu is my lifework. Cheering them during a game is something I always do, but even before a match, we get together four hours before kickoff to put up banners and flags and wait in anticipation to cheer on the players when they make their way to the pitch. Why wouldn’t I?! They’re our home team!! I hope we’ll have more supporters who will join us. And I hope to put together a band to play music from the stands during games and make noise as we cheer. I want us to make so much noise that people would tell us to be quiet!” Hiro-san shares with a chuckle.

“For the kids, I hope that we’ll have a club that’ll be ours for a hundred years. It would be great to have a J-League team in Okinawa and the local kids would dream of ‘becoming a J-League player one day’. My dream is to someday see a Japanese team beat Barcelona!” Hiro-san beamed, and his smile was overflowing with passion.

[Photo courtesy of FOOTBALL CAFÉ CAMP NOU] (From 2019)

CAMP NOU is an establishment that I most definitely recommend to soccer fans and sports fans.

I first visited CAMP NOU during the 9th Rugby World Cup in 2019, the first tournament to be held in Japan. I had an amazing time alongside locals, people in Okinawa on business, tourists, European travelers who were recommended CAMP NOU by hotel staff to watch ruby. Everyone gathered there were thoroughly enjoying themselves.

I have to be honest, though, I’m not too familiar with soccer. In fact, I don’t know much about sports in general, for that matter. Despite that, since my first visit to CAMP NOU, I often feel the urge to go there, likely because of the comfortable atmosphere, and because of Hiro-san, as passionate as he is about FC Ryukyu, he is open-minded and has a warmth about him that people are attracted to.

For a cup of coffee or a glass of beer and some friendly banter, swing by CAMP NOU when you’re in Naha.



Address: 1-3-14 Makishi, Naha City, Okinawa
Hours: 18:00 to 2:00
Telephone: 098-941-2411
Closed: Tuesdays (may open depending on sports schedules)
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*Please check with the shop for details on the hours during states of emergency (due to COVID-19).

Okinawa CLIP photo writer, Mika Asaka