"Real geisha do not usually do that. Real geisha, when dressed up, are on the way to work or on the way back so do not have time in spare."

He says the quality of the white makeup is another good indicator of authenticity -- a real geisha's face will be refined and smooth.

But will your legions of Instagram followers know the difference? Probably not.

6. Forget those "memoirs"

As Gion was the scene of much of the drama in "Memoirs of a Geisha" -- the popular novel and film that reignited global interest in geisha culture -- it's not surprising that many tourists want to visit the area.

But Kyoto geisha Kiku says the real lives of geisha are nothing like the ones depicted on screen.

"It's complete fiction and Hollywood entertainment that does not at all represent the world of geisha," she says.

"In that sense the film made our lives more difficult as people come with many misconceptions so we need to explain how our world is not what people saw in the movie."

7. If all else fails, cough up the cash

The old school way to meet a geisha is to simply book yourself an evening at an ochaya (tea house).

Not cheap, but certainly the most authentic geiko experience.

Traditionally, access to high-end geisha experiences in tea houses (also referred to as banquet halls) is gained through connections only.

But those willing to cough up the cash -- usually starting from 100,000 yen (about $1,000) -- will find it's possible to buy their way through the doors.

Historic Ichiriki Ochaya has been around for more than 300 years and is among the most famous tea houses, said to bring the top geisha in Kyoto.

The tea house doesn't mince words on its website.

"If you have the money to establish a long-lasting relationship with us, there are more benefits that will be open to you."

Concierges in Kyoto's five-star hotels and luxury ryokan (inns) are usually able to set up evenings for those who want to experience geisha entertainment at a Kyoto restaurant.

Lugasi says he offers different geisha experiences for clients who book a complete tour with Windows on Asia.

"The most common experience is a private meeting and dinner where the guests will spend 90 minutes to two hours with a geisha, see her dance and ask her directly (usually with translation) about her life, her choices and her art, while also taking photos with her and playing typical geisha games," he says.

For a budget experience, there's always Gion Corner, a contrived one-stop shop for geisha entertainment open nightly from 6 p.m. that panders to tourists with tea ceremonies, puppets, flower arrangement, music and dancing.

The price of this one is ¥3,150 (about $30) per adult.

On the upside, you won't have to hang out in the streets like a celeb-stalking paparazzi.