Re: Training at Hombu - is it worth it?
I echo Joe Bowen's recommendations. When I visited Japan in June, I had the opportunity to train at Kobayashi's dojo in Kodaira (Tokyo) and at Abe's dojo in Suita City (Osaka), thanks to introductions arranged by senior students at the University of Iowa Aikikai. Both had lots of senior students who were great to train with. The atmosphere at Kobayashi's dojo struck me as more joyful, while that at Abe's dojo appeared more serious, but I'm not sure how much confidence I would put in observations based on just one practice. I would recommend both dojos to you.