You know I actually took the time and re-read everyone's responses. Before I just scanned through them quickly. Sorry for the laziness.
Anyway, everyone here experienced the same thing as me. Really good advice has been given.
The "door thing" is important. Yup, the first time I went to Hombu I went through the wrong door too. I did not know at the time there was a door to enter the dojo in the men's dressing room.
But, all part of the experience. As for ignoring foreigners. That was just a joke,
actually one of the best things about Hombu is that you meet people from all over the world. And sorry for the typo, my friend's name is Brian, not "Brain." Although he is a smart guy.
Anyway Patrick, if you happen come to Wakayama Prefecture and are looking for a dojo here to train at, send me a mail.