Omiya Ardija are located in Omiya, a part of Saitama City, just a short distance north of Tokyo. It shares the area with the much larger Urawa Reds, and is viewed as the "upstart" in Saitama, but the club has managed to attract a decent fan base nonetheless. The club can its history to the formation of NTT Kanto Football Club, in 1969. This club was one of the more successful regional clubs in the North Kanto regional division for much of the 1960s and 1970s, and finally won promotion to the Second Division of the Japan Soccer League in 1987. It joined the J.League as one of the founding J2 clubs, when the second division was founded in 1999. Since then it has spend most of its time in J1, but usually in the lower reaches, and a battle to avoid relegation has defined the team for much of its history.
Ardija takes its team name from the Spanish word for "squirrel", which is the team's mascot and a part of its official emblem. The squirrel used to be the official animal of Omiya City, before Omiya and Urawa merged to create Saitama City, in the late 90s. The nickname may strike some as a little odd (few opponents have ever cowered in terror at the though of facing "the Mighty Squirrels"), and they do struggle in the shadow of their much bigger and wealthier cross-town cousins. But Omiya has a habit of winning the Saitama Derby, and enjoys being its local rival's greatest nemesis.