The great thing about a Rugby World Cup 2019 experience in Japan is the huge number of things to do for travelling fans.

Whether it’s wonderful culture, breath-taking history, fun for food and drink lovers and much more, there is something for everyone.

And to make it easy we have picked some of the best things to do under your own steam during your holiday in Japan, from Tokyo and beyond.

Tea ceremony

This is certainly more than dunking a Rich Tea in a cup of builders!

A full-on Sado tea ceremony involves a very formal order of progression, including how and when to pass the cup, rotate it, sip, and eat the accompanying traditional sweets so you will need to pay attention!

The whole process is not really about drinking tea, but is about aesthetics, how preparing a bowl of tea is from the heart. The host of the tea ceremony always considers the guests with every movement and gesture. Even the placement of the utensils used in the ceremony is considered from the guests point of view.

While it’s typically seen as more of a Kyoto thing, there are still many places where you can experience a tea ceremony in Tokyo, such as Komaba Warakuan two stops west of Shibuya Station, and Chazen in Ginza.

Wear a kimono

A genuine Japanese experience that is packed with culture. Wearing a kimono isn’t as common a tourist experience in Tokyo as it is in Kyoto but there are two areas of Tokyo where it makes perfect sense: Asakusa, where you’ll find Senso-ji Temple; and Kawagoe - also known as ‘Little Edo - which still preserves the old streets from its days as a castle town.

Kawagoe is actually in Saitama Prefecture, but it can be accessed in about 30 minutes from Ikebukuro Station. If you want to combine your cultural activities, you’ll also find some tea ceremony courses that incorporate kimono into the experience.

Roam a castle as a samuri

Visiting castles in Britain is something most of us have experienced – learning what it was like to be a knight in the Middle Ages is a classic weekend pastime – and in Japan you can go a step further and actually dress as a samurai warrior!

While you can see castle walls at the Tokyo Imperial Palace, if you want to see a castle keep, the nearest to Tokyo is in Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture. While there, you can pay to wander the grounds (but not enter the keep) in some fairly satisfying samurai armour. Ninja and princess options are also available for really expressive travelling rugby fan.

Sing karaoke

‘Achy, Breaky Heart’, ‘My Way’ – anything by Queen – who doesn’t love a bit of Karaoke.

And in Japan, it is an essential part of the cultural landscape along with the kimono and tea ceremony. While you can get karaoke in small bars, the typical experience (especially for younger people) is in a dedicated karaoke box with tambourines, maracas and multiple rounds of drinks brought up to your room. You'll find karaoke just about anywhere nightlife is found in Japan, with common hotspots around Tokyo including Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Roppongi, Shinbashi, Ginza and Akihabara.

Most places will offer a nomihodai (all-you-can-drink) deal, which can work to your advantage depending on how much you plan to imbibe – and how good your singing is!.

Play a shamisen

If you want to bring out your inner Dave Grohl of Jimi Hendrix then look no further than your chance to play a shamisen.

It is a three-stringed instrument played with a plectrum called a bachi. Once every month, Arts Council Tokyo runs three free shamisen workshops on a single day at the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Centre right across the street from Senso-ji’s Kaminarimon gate. Check the schedule and just show up for a truly unique experience!

Soak in a hot spring

Hot springs, or onsen, are a big part of any Japanese holiday and a great addition to your Rugby World Cup 2019 experience. While Tokyo isn't exactly known as a hot spring destination, you can get a taste at Edo-Onsen Monogatari, an onsen theme park in Odaiba. It's done up in traditional Edo-Period (1603-1868) style, so you get two cultural experiences in one!

There is just one thing to be ready for, um, and that’s getting naked in front of total strangers. But don’t let that put you off.

If you really want an authentic onsen experience around Tokyo, you should probably head 90 minutes south west to the mountains of Hakone, Tokyo’s premier hot spring resort destination. There you can try your onsen and have a look around a ryokan (Japanese-style inn), another big Japan experience!

Sumo

With just six Grand Sumo tournaments throughout the year, sumo is actually a special event in Japan.

Fortunately, half of the tournaments are held in Tokyo’s Ryogoku Kokugikan. So, if you're around Kogugikan during between September 8 and September 22, be sure to keep an eye on the sumo schedule and look into getting yourself some tickets for the September Tournament!

It is a must-see experience and another major event you can tick off your bucket list.

Taiko drumming

If you have ever dreamt of letting fly with a drum solo like ‘In the Air Tonight’ by Phil Collins then look no further at a spot of Taiko Drumming.

This is an essential addition to any Japanese experience and you can try it out for yourself. Taiko-Lab has two classrooms in Tokyo, with more spread across some of Japan's other major cities. Head to either the Asakusa or Aoyama branch for a one-shot taster lesson (reservation required) and channel your inner Phil!

Robot restaurant

The Robot Restaurant is a crazy, wacky way to see Tokyo in all its glory. Head to this over-the-top spot in Shinjuku to see live ‘robot’ shows intermixed with traditional Japanese culture like festival dances and taiko drumming, with plenty of neon sprinkled on top.

It’s basically the craziest floor show you can possibly imagine - and tons of fun! It’s like being served dinner by C3P0.

Watch Japan play rugby

If there is one thing rugby-mad enthusiasts should do during the tournament, then that is watch hosts Japan in action.

You can see them and the Opening Ceremony in our Packages AA and AB or see them against Scotland in Tour AA, AB, AF, AH, AI, CA, CC, CF, CI, CJ, CK, ED, SA, SB or PB. For atmosphere, sporting history and a new chapter in rugby’s great history, the chance to see Japan play in Asia’s first Rugby World Cup is something not to be missed.