When you see an antique, what catches your attention? Some people imagine the history or story behind it, perhaps there's a bit of romance or mystery involved. Some people look at the object and see dollar signs, and some see a piece of art. Dedicated collectors often see all three.

Antiques can get people dreaming big for many different reasons. TV shows such as TV Tokyo's "Kaiun! Nandemo Kanteidan" ("Good Fortune! The Team that Can Appraise Anything") or "Antiques Roadshow," which is broadcast in various countries such as Britain and the United States have made old collectables relatively familiar to the general public throughout the world — and surely, many have gone digging at home or to the nearby flea market to look for "hidden treasure."

The largest antiques event of its kind, the Yokohama Kotto World fair (kotto meaning antique), which opens Friday and will be held throughout the weekend at Pacifico Yokohama in the city's Minatomirai district. Held twice a year, the fair attracts everyone from beginners to collectors to Internet dealers.