Spiritually motivated travel, specifically pilgrimage, has been an important part of tourism in Japan, and nowadays carries a much wider connotation beyond religion including health, wellness and self-improvement. Pilgrims, especially those travelling on foot, have specific interests closely related to sustainability and this mode of travel, which may be defined as slow tourism, helps shape the kinds of tourism services provided by surrounding communities as well as direct destination planning and development. This can be observed in the case of the World Heritage nominated pilgrimage trail, the Kumano-kodo in Wakayama. Making reference to the evolving meaning of spirituality and tourism both globally and in Japan, this chapter explores the significance of today’s spiritualities in destination management from the perspective of local communities. This is part of an ongoing study that employs critical and hopeful tourism perspectives as a platform, situating spirituality as a basis for sustainability and advocating slow engagement with local place and its people.