Re: Advice on Hombu dojo etiquette
see above. all great pieces of advice!
will you be visiting friends while you're there? they'd be able to maybe help translate for you too.
one thing though, even in the smaller outlying dojos, it would probably be nice if you brought a letter of introduction from your instructor... i know the folks here will correct me if i'm too tight-butt about it :P
and even though the dojos you visit are all affiliated (i'm assuming of course) the etiquette will vary. like what side the senior members line up, how they bow, etc. i remember things varied a bit from hombu to yamagata to fukuoka. not alot, but enough... i remember dressing and walking up the stairs to the mat in Suganuma Sensei's dojo, and walking through the doorway, and everyone, no matter what they were doing, turned and bowed. caught me by surprise! i looked over my shoulder to see if someone important was behind me.
it turns out, my quicker-dressing dojo mates who were travelling with me went through the same thing, but there was no way to 'warn'the rest of us, so just watched as everybody walked through the door.
have fun. some of us here are jealous :P