Well, seems like I won't be getting to a grading in Japan. Kotomi has been ringing all the neighbouring prefectures asking if they will have a grading in August. Most won't be, some are only for children, and some insist that the person grading has to actually live in the prefecture. And this is even before we tell them that I'm a foreigner who understands very little Japanese, who can't write Japanese, and who's probably going to make grading difficult for any opponent (because of hight, although I'm sure people won't care much).
Kotomi is still waiting on a few replies, and the teachers at my dojo have said they will make inquiries, but it doesn't seem likely.
I've been told that the grading system has changed. It used to be that if you had enough high level sensei at a dojo you could set up grading at any time. If they said you were shodan, you were shodan. But now (although I probably misunderstood) there are very strict rules about grading, and everything has to be organised through the federations.
Hirai sensei said to me, "If I could give you shodan I would, but I can't." He also said that grading is not important, that I should practice more instead. Perhaps some day I will be able to share this sentiment... when I am 7th dan too ^^