The teahouse got its name from an old wistaria plant that grew along the front eaves. Wistaria House has gained particular renown for its promotion of the traditional art of the tea ceremony, and was innovative in establishing itself as a place for preserving traditions of culture, art and the philosophy of spiritual cultivation. In addition, it has been the meeting place of social activists and scholarly critics, and many cultural groups have on occasion met here for seminars and performances. This special combination has given Wistaria House a unique cultural and historical spirit and artistic charm.
Wistaria House was originally an old, one-story Japanese-style house. After it was damaged by a typhoon, half of the exterior of the structure was rebuilt as a two-story, Western-style house in 1960. Although it is a hybrid of two different architectural styles, through the meticulous placement of implements, art pieces and furniture, and the blending of historical hues, it ingeniously melds the two together, even creating an aesthetic atmosphere all its own.