Photography is a powerful tool. It can be used to both terrify and inspire. Over the years, we’ve covered our fair share of photo stories, documenting everything from haunting shots of post-2011 Fukushima to the life of tattooed women in Japan. If you’re looking for a bit of a distraction from the news (and you should definitely take your eyes away from it every now and then), here is a compilation of a few of TW’s eye-popping photo stories from the last few years.

Meet Japan’s Most Stylish Grandpa, Silver Tetsuya

Silver Tetsuya inspired many of us to give some of our old clothes a second chance at life. This Instagram series, started by Naoya Kudo in Akita Prefecture, took over the world thanks to killer looks modeled by Kudo’s grandfather – Silver Tetsuya. “I gave my granddad a call to let him know I was sending up a big box of clothes and asked him if he didn’t mind playing along.” As it turned out, Tetsuya turned out to have a talent for posing.

New Project Showcases Tattooed Women in Japan to Shift Stereotypes

The #TattooWomenJP project was in our May issue last year, and we still can’t quite get over how cool these women look. Senior Editor Lisa Wallin interviewed photographer Stasia Matsumoto on one of her photography projects at the time: “I wanted to try to change those misconceptions. But I also didn’t want to focus on stereotypes; instead I focus on their stories.” The result was inspiring, to say the least.

Photographer Adam Isfendiyar Lived with an Ainu Family in Hokkaido to Create His New Series

Making it in Tokyo Weekender’s top 10 interviews of 2019, Adam Isfendiyar is truly an example of what serious dedication can look like. To create his “Master – An Ainu Story” series, the photographer lived for several days at a time between 2016 and 2018 in Hokkaido learning the way of the Ainu. The result? A life-changing relationship with the community and incomparable trust in Isfendiyar’s intention to share their traditions with the world.

Award-Winning Series Turns Tokyo’s Concrete Jungle into Fine Art

There’s no denying that Tokyo has an incredible architecture. In summer 2018, TW chatted with Yoshihiko Wada, an award-winning photographer, on his series “The City of Juncture.” These black and white shots of the city make its skyscrapers look like pencilwork, and give the eerie feeling that Wada took them from a distant future. The monochrome really sheds a light on the unique shapes the city takes.

How One Photographer Is Putting Kyoto’s Small Buildings on the Map

And if Tokyo doesn’t do it for you, why not virtually revisit Kyoto? Last year, we featured a unique photobook centered around the unique blend of architecture in Kyoto. Photographer and long-time local resident John Einarsen shared all the reasons behind his dedication to immortalizing the buildings of the old capital.

Love photography? Check out these 5 Tokyo-based photographers.