Daishi Kyokai is the administrative center of Shingon Buddhism, and is responsible for spreading the teachings of Kobo Daishi, the sect's founder. The complex consists of two buildings: Henjoden, a traditional temple hall, that was built in 1915 and is dedicated to Kobo Daishi, and a modern building for administration, lectures and training. An English information desk is available in this building.
Visitors can participate in a few activities at Daishi Kyokai, such as receiving Buddhist precepts (jukai) or copying Buddhist scriptures (shakyo). No advance reservations are required.
Jukai is a formal ceremony administered to Buddhist laypeople; however, anyone may receive jukai and participation does not make you Buddhist unless you wish to become so. Jukai takes place in a very dark room adjacent to the Henjoden's main hall, where participants sit on the tatami floor and recite after a priest. During the ceremony they repent all their past misdeeds, take refuge in the Buddha, and repeat the Ten Wholesome Precepts, a Buddhist moral code. The whole ceremony takes about 30 minutes and visitors receive a certificate at the end acknowledging their participation.
Daishi Kyokai also offers sutra copying (shakyo) which has long been practiced as a form of meditation and devotional act. Participants are given a sheet of paper with the popular Heart Sutra lightly printed on it. You trace over the kanji characters with a brush pen and when complete you may take it home as a souvenir or dedicate it to Okunoin for a small fee.