Maybe not everybody is so cool that they can just walk into Hombu and train without a membership and then be like "this place is so dead."
From the Aikikai hombu website:
In order to train at Hombu Dojo you must become a member of the Aikikai Foundation. At dojo located abroad, this is usually done upon joining the dojo, or else upon registration of shodan grading. Upon completing registration with the Aikikai, you will receive a membership card and a membership number. These do not expire and are good for life. Also, upon registering shodan you will also receive an International Yudansha Book. When wanting to train at Hombu Dojo, please bring something with your registration number with you. For those who are not yet Aikikai members, please complete the registration at the front desk upon arrival at Hombu Dojo.
Like I said - it costs about $100 and then anybody can go on up and train. So what's your point?