As he was married, he and his wife traveled to different monasteries in Harbin, Manchuria, which at the time was ruled by Japan. In Harbin, Fr. John was [[tonsure]]d a [[monk]] under the name of Nicholas and his wife Vera was tonsured a [[nun]] with the name Helen.
On [[April 6]], 1941, Fr. John was consecrated the Bishop of Tokyo and All Japan in St. Nicholas Cathedral in Harbin by the hierarchs of the ROCOR: Metr. Meletius (Zaborovsky) of Harbin and All Manchuria, Abp. Nestor (Anisimov) of Kamchatka and Petropavlovsk, Bp. Juvenal of Qiqihar, Bp. Demetrius of Hailar and Bp. [[John Maximovitch|John (Maksimovich) of Shanghai]]. (Some sources name Abp. Victor (Svyatin) of Beijing instead of Bp. John.) Thus, Bp. Nicholas became the first Japanese national to be consecrated an Orthodox bishop.