Nakamura was born in Kodaira on October 31, 1980. After graduating from Chuo University, he joined J2 League club Kawasaki Frontale in 2003. He became a regular player as offensive midfielder from first season. In 2004, he was converted to defensive midfielder by manager Takashi Sekizuka. The club won the champions in the 2004 J2 League and was promoted to J1 League. The club won the 2nd place in 2006, 2008 and 2009. He was also selected Best Eleven for 5 years in a row (2006-2010). In 2016, the club won the 3rd place and he was selected MVP award. In 2017, the club won the J1 League champions first time in the club history. The club also won the champions in 2018 and 2020. He retired end of the 2020 season at the age of 40.
On October, 2006, Nakamura debuted for the Japan national team against Ghana. After the debut, he played many matches as offensive midfielder and defensive midfielder. In 2007, he participated at 2007 AFC Asian Cup and played all 6 matches. However his opportunity to play decreased from spring 2010. He was selected Japan for 2010 World Cup and played 1 matches as substitute midfielder. In 2013, he played at 2013 Confederations Cup. This tournament is his last match for Japan. He played 68 games and scored 6 goals for Japan until 2013.