What is the difference between an American cherry and a Japanese cherry? I'd say about 500 yen (about 5 dollars) per 4 oz. (about 118 grams). Nyuk, nyuk. That may be a lame joke, but it's the painful truth. Japanese cherries are sold in small plastic compacts that hold about 12 cherries for $4 or $5 (between about 400-500 yen). American cherries are sold at Costco in freakishly huge honking plastic boxes for about 1000 yen ($10) for about 4 lbs. (about 2 kg.).
As far as I know, there is no predictable difference in taste between a Japanese cherry and an American one. As was said on Seinfeld, fruit is a gamble and there is always variation in both so there is no uniform difference in sweetness, texture, or acidity that I've discerned. That being said, I'm not wealthy enough to eat Japanese cherries on a regular basis. They are clearly for the monocle and sash-wearing set.
These cherry Hi-chew candies are part of Morinaga's "world fruit" series. The other type is a type of Peruvian cherry called "camucamu". Morinaga is holding a campaign where purchasers of the two Hi-Chew flavors can win some sort of kewpie doll trinket which shows it's oh-so-cute face and hands stuck in some colored plastic balls meant to resemble fruit. If you need more plastic junk in your life, you can send in part of the label and hope for the best.
Yes, it actually looks rather purple rather than red or pinkish as one might expect a cherry-flavored candy to look.
The Hi-Chew itself is pretty much par for the course. The texture is chewy, gum-like and a bit like latex. The chew is long-lasting and flavorful throughout. The flavor is somewhat tart cherry with a good balance of sweetness and cherry bite. To me, it doesn't smell particularly good. It smells a bit chemical-like and reminds me of cherry Kool-aid or Pixie Stix. Fortunately, huffing Hi-Chew isn't really necessary so one can enjoy the candy and ignore the smell.
This is a nice Hi-Chew, and a definite repeater if you're a fan of this type of candy and cherry flavor. I like cherry a lot and would certainly consider this again if I were in the right mood. I'm just not big on the Hi-Chew experience overall.