Studies on the associations of dietary Ca and vitamin D intakes with arterial stiffness are scarce. In the present study, these associations were evaluated in Japanese men. Data from a total of 535 eligible men, aged 35–69 years, who participated in the baseline survey of a cohort study in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan, and underwent brachial–ankle pulse wave velocity (ba-PWV) measurements were analysed. ba-PWV is a measure of arterial stiffness and is recognised as a marker of atherosclerotic vascular damage. Information regarding the cohort's lifestyle characteristics including dietary behaviour over the past year was obtained from a structured self-administered questionnaire. Dietary Ca and vitamin D intakes were adjusted for total energy intake using the residual method and divided into quartiles; the highest quartile was used as the reference. General linear models were used to evaluate the associations between dietary Ca and vitamin D intakes and ba-PWV values adjusted for probable covariates. The association between dietary Ca intake and ba-PWV was further evaluated using similar general linear models stratified by dietary vitamin D intake (median or below/above median). Dietary Ca intake was found to be significantly inversely associated with ba-PWV after adjusting for probable covariates (P for trend = 0·020). However, no such association was observed between dietary vitamin D intake and ba-PWV. The inverse association between dietary Ca intake and ba-PWV was striking in subjects with higher dietary vitamin D intake. However, no association was found in subjects with lower dietary vitamin D intake. These results indicate that adequate dietary Ca and vitamin D intakes may be protective against the development of arterial stiffness in Japanese men.