god horse top

“Quick guys! The gods aren’t looking! Let’s roll around in the dirt!”

Nara Prefecture is mostly known as the cultural neighbor of Kyoto, with plenty of historic and natural offerings for tourists and residents alike. There’s the massive Todaiji temple, Nara Park that is packed with wild deer, and, um, a cockroach memorial? Hey, why not!

And there’s at least one shrine in Nara dedicated to housing “god horses,” the white horses that Shinto gods supposedly ride when they’re out doing godly things.

With such an honorable task as being ridden by the immortals themselves, you would expect the “god horses” to act in a dignified manner.

You would expect that, anyway….

“At a shrine up in the mountains in Nara there’s a place that raises ‘god horses’ that anyone can interact with. But there’s just something a bit not-so-godly about this one….”

“Hey guys! What’s up?!”


“What’s wrong? Haven’t you ever seen a god horse before?”


“This is what we all do! Nothing weird going on here!”


As goofy and undignified a picture as it may be, who’s to say that’s not what the horse is supposed to be doing? Maybe that’s how Shinto gods ride their horses. Or maybe it was just being tickled by some invisible god-fingers. Or maybe the horse was just really happy and had to roll around on the ground. Haven’t we all been there before?

Here’s how Japanese netizens reacted to seeing this god-horse caught red-hoofed:

“Hey I do that all the time! Am I a god-horse?
“I… didn’t even know horses could do that.”
“Hello I am god lol.”
“Can’t tell if he’s relaxing or freaking out….”
“Body = horse, soul = Shiba Inu.”

Interested in seeing other animals who think they’re something they’re not? How about cats pretending to be people? Or a dog who thinks it’s a cat? Or… a rice omelet that wants to be a corgi? They may not serve the gods, but they sure are cute!

Source: Twitter/williamkento via Hamusoku
Images: Twitter/williamkento

More divine steeds:

The Steeds of the Gods: The Shinto horses that no mortal may ride