Nicolae a învăţat limba şi cultura japoneză cu mare râvnă. În special după întâlnirea cu Arhiepiscopul Innocent (Veniaminov) în septembrie 1861 în Hakodate, motivaţia sa pare că s-a întărit. În Japonia, tânărul Nicolae a încercat să-şi păstreze abilităţile pentru limbi vestice şi citea cărţi în limbi străine. Innocent l-a găsit citind cărţi vestice în cele din urmă şi l-a certat. După spusele lui Innocent, toate eforturile lui Nicolae trebuiau să se îndrepte spre învăţarea limbii, culturii şi istoriei japoneze astfel încât el să fie capabil să facă o traducere corectă a Scripturii în japoneză. Nicolae a fost puternic impresionat de cuvintele arhiepiscopului Innocent şi le-a urmat supus.
Hieromonk]] Nicholas attended popular gatherings to listen to visitant storytellers and Buddhist preachers. By 1868, Fr Nicholas had already mastered spoken Japanese. His knowledge of the history of Japan was deeper than that of many Japanese. In the meantime, he also learned English, which was becoming an international language. By that time the congregation of Fr Nicholas numbered about 20 men and women.
In late 1869, hieromonk Nicholas came to St. Petersburg to report on the results of his work to the Synod. A decision was made " to set up a special Russian Ecclesiastical Mission to preach God's Word among [[ paganism| pagans]]." Fr Nicholas was promoted to the rank of [[ archimandrite]] and appointed head of the Mission.
Upon his return to Japan, the prospective [[ bishop]] turned over his Hakodate's congregation to hieromonk [[ Anatoly Tikhai| Anatole]], his new associate, and relocated the missionary centre to Tokyo.
In 1871, the persecution of Christians began in Japan, which affected many people, including [[Paul Sawabe]], the first Orthodox Japanese, who would later become a famous missionary priest.
Building of the mission == It was not until 1873 that the persecution lessened a little and a free propagation of Christianity became possible. In the same year Archimandrite Nicholas started to build a church and a school for fifty people in Tokyo, followed by a theological school, which was transformed into a [[Tokyo Orthodox Seminary (Tokyo, Japan)| seminary]] in 1878.
In 1874, His Eminence Paul, Bishop of Kamchatka, arrived in Tokyo to ordain local candidates recommended by Archimandrite Nicholas. By that time, there were four schools in Tokyo: a catechist school, a seminary, a girls' school, and a clerical school; and two schools in Hakodate, one for boys and one for girls.
In late 1877, the Mission began to publish a magazine, ''The Church Herald'', on a regular basis. By 1878, there were 4115 Christians in Japan. In public worship and education of local communities, the vernacular was used. The publication of books on spirituality and [[ ethics]] was initiated as well.
In 1880, the Holy Synod decided to increase the staff of the Mission and to elevate the head of it, Archimandrite Nicholas, to the rank of bishop. On [[March 30]], 1880, Archimandrite Nicholas was consecrated bishop of Tokyo in the Trinity [[Cathedral]] of [[Alexander Nevsky]] [[Lavra]]. The bishop wrote later: "During the [[sacrament]] of [[Consecration of the Eucharist|consecration]], feelings seem to overwhelm the man against his will, his eyes get wet, his soul embarrassed. His inner being is transformed as soon as [[hierarch]]s place their right hands upon him. He stands up a totally different person than he was before kneeling down in front of the [[altar]]."