And to make things more daunting a number of England stars are likely to be getting their first taste of Cardiff under the lights - with in-form Northampton flanker Tom Wood rumoured to be in line for a debut.
But Johnson - a veteran of Red Rose games in Wales - believes his players should embrace the occasion rather than shirk away from it.
"Going to play Wales on a Friday night in Cardiff will be one of the games you remember forever," said Johnson.
"It is what you want to be involved in and it's a game to get the blood flowing.
"The players have to deal with the emotions of going to Cardiff. It's going to be volatile. It's going to be a new experience for some of them in what you get when you're in Cardiff.
"When we get there on Thursday afternoon the locals will be up for it and dealing with all those things is part of it.
"There is something very special about a Wales v England game.
"There's a lot of passion down there for beating us.
"It's a cracking game to start the tournament; the atmosphere under lights at night is always good. I've always liked playing under lights.
"The France game in Paris last year was an example of that. I know travelling for away fans and even for home fans on a Friday can be a bit tough.
"But I like Friday night rugby. I'd much rather play on a Friday night than a Sunday afternoon.
"We are not going to hold anything back, we want to go and win."